Whilst performing my daily ritual of scouring around for new information, I came across an article by Bill Gates on his favourite book of all time: Enlightenment now
In summary, the author argues that the world is far better than it used to be and we surely are progressing than 21st century intellectuals think. He espouses the disconnect between the facts on hand and the underlying perception fuelled by everyday news which emphasise that we’re regressing – world poverty, death, gender, societal values, justice etc.
As an optimist, myself, I couldn’t agree more. I consider myself very lucky to be alive and this underlying belief could fuel your motivation to prosper as it does mine. Think about it; access to books, thoughts, tools, information, knowledge, people, technology, jobs, nature has never been so within reach.
To get the right perspective, it’s been about 70 years since Jews were killed for literally no reason in WW2. Mind you, the Jews were commended and renowned for their business acumen and commercial enterprise. Yet, they were cruelly savaged and murdered for no just cause other than the simple fact that they were Jews. In comparison, I see no difference between the Jews who were gas-chambered and myself, other than time of birth.
In hindsight, I consider myself very lucky to experience a world which, despite its imperfections, is a result of the deaths and sacrifices of intellectual giants and visionary leaders who gave everything – even their lives, for the peace I enjoy today. So, the real question is: What excuse do I have? Who can I blame, other than myself if I do not make an impact with this luxury of peace, justice, love and the rule of law? No one.
Like everyone else, everyday I’m faced with the challenges of waking up early, reading books amidst tight schedules, envisioning a better tomorrow despite prevalent and recurrent failures, finding minute things to be grateful for (by personal resolve), dealing with emotional setbacks etc. Nonetheless, these would count as nothing in comparison to what the world has experienced. Fuelled with this knowledge, my everyday tasks, goals and struggles appear insignificant in perspective, which consequently propels me to be grateful for the challenges I face each day and to dispel laziness and procrastination in the pursuit of my dreams.
I understand that with this luxury comes competitiveness which is a key requirement for global growth. Like the animal kingdom, their world still strives and remains sustainable – as competition ensures that only the best and strongest survives if their kind is to be sustained. I believe it’s the way our world was designed to function and going against those laws could be counterproductive.
Make no mistake, I do not support the case for human brutality or non-empathetic competition. But for the greater good of us all, we should embrace the challenges competition brings, rather than run from it, and adapt ourselves continually to exploit the opportunities our new world brings.
So, if you lose a job, venture or idea; step back, take a deep breath and view a broader perspective of what a great time it is to be alive to pursue the luxury you’re entitled to – a beautiful tomorrow.