The Wake-Up Call – Why Our Country Is At Each Other’s Throats
The turmoil that continues to roll through our country overlooks many of the truths that are enraging so many. Last November, I wrote an article that was a response to many of my friends being paralyzed by the results of the election and the observation that much of the problems infecting our country are not being addressed by party politics at all. For example, the scourge of under-employment continues and no one enjoying a significant leadership role in politics is offering any truthful narrative about it. This week, I was personally shocked by the jubilance of politicians voting a law that would indeed throw many of our brothers and sisters under the bus with their healthcare.
Personally, I don’t see much benefit by calling names with either side or putting people down for their beliefs. I felt this way before and continue, much from my own convictions that emerged from my life’s work.
Here is the previous article.
Half of our country is waking up in a state of anger and bitterness. The other half elected a new President out of anger and bitterness. Moving beyond this unsettling irony requires that we look that anger directly in the eye and determine how we got here. And, if we are to be compassionate, it is time to understand the challenges that are overwhelming us regardless of our political party.
In the late 80s and the early 90s, I was deeply involved with politics. I wanted to see positive change in our world. But, that pursuit vanished when we delivered our first Inspired Work Program. After watching people change in profound and positive ways in 48 hours, I found political change to be cumbersome and often superficial. Today, I feel this way even more. Most of the people we see fighting for the political future of America are over the age of 60. We do not need old beliefs and tiresome wars. We need fresh faces and new solutions.
In today’s political landscape, there is a big pink elephant in the room:
The accelerating rate of change has left millions of people on the sidelines. Yes, the economy has improved since 2008. But, we have an enormous amount of brothers and sisters who have not recovered because they don’t know how to reinvent themselves. As a consequence, they live with underemployment every single day. No candidate has projected meaningful solutions. Instead, all of our politicians recognized this deep malaise and offered promises to rescue us. Promising jobs and a return to Mayberry is not only wrongheaded, it is simply not the answer. Our country requires a more insightful brand of courage to tell the necessary truth: It is our responsibility to learn how to change, to learn how to reinvent and to adopt the courage to ride bigger and bigger waves of change. This is the message we need. Yesterday, I felt a brief glimmer of enthusiasm when a senator talked about how our workers need to be retrained. That hope vanished when he suggested we ought to be training steel workers to become truck drivers. Truck drivers? In the next few years, a big portion of our 5.2 million truck drivers will be shown the door for safer driverless trucks. It seems that only the most motivated and educated individuals are making their way to the pipelines of information available to all of us in what is emerging in our world and how to make use of innovation. Left in the dark, the growing problem of livelihood and security grows into revolt, drug use, despair, and checking-out.
We literally need to go back three hundred years to find a parallel example of the current state. The Industrial Revolution handed out pink slips to over 80% of the world’s workers. That event didn’t end work, it moved it. Civil and political unrest emerged as terrified citizens found their livelihoods upended. Eventually, most of the world’s workers found their way but at a great and overwhelming cost.
The great futurist Alvin Toffler predicted that today we would find ourselves living in a state of “Future Shock,” which he characterized as a paralysis that comes from “trying to absorb too much change in too short a period of time.” In Kevin Kelly’s seminal new book The Inevitable, he describes how emerging technology will transform how we work, live, communicate and play. The next ten years will introduce us to a new world that will be barely recognizable. This world offers extraordinary opportunities for those of us who change, unlearn and relearn but will also be brutal to those of us who don’t take the initiative or know how to pursue effective personal change. It would seem that for those of us who desire a country we want to live in, that it is time to get educated on where we are headed and not buy promises that motivate us to sink back into non-actionable hope. We have a population too frenzied with empty activity to change and our leaders seem to exploit that trance rather than point it out.
I have been helping people change in tangible ways for 26 years. That experience has delivered a great conviction that only we can turn on the light, no one can do that for us. I believe that all of us have the capacity to change and actually make use of the innovation that is growing every day because I see this every day. It is a detour to pine for the past because none of us can actually go there. I will not envision any dependable political scenario for our brothers and sisters to realize this. It is our responsibility to snap out of it and develop the new skills to step into what can be a very bright future. Without that kind of personal and yet across-the-board move, we are headed towards even greater divisiveness.
The level of anger and dissension that is within our country indicates that we may be headed towards square one. Whatever that means will be revealed.
I am signing up for our future.
Brought to you by David Harder, President – Inspired Work, Inc.
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