The quest for Vision should be a national goal for any country. In fact, the quest for a global dream/vision wouldn’t be a bad goal either.
We, the current occupants of planet earth, seem to be perpetually bogged down in minutiae, petty quarrels, scandals, intrigues, potential drums of war, and sound-bite concerns that disappear with the next sound-bite news report. We absorb these concerns with no time, or seeming concern, to actually pay attention long enough to do something about them. It’s on to the next problem to worry about, just as soon as the last one has flitted by our miniscule attention span.
I would submit that this myopic approach to the future may well doom the human race to extinction without us even realizing it. We may well not even recognize the problem until the rush to extinction becomes irreversible. Doom and gloom, yes, but also a wake-up call.
This last two weeks have shown a glimmer of hope that we can actually pull ourselves out of this downward spiral, if we have a focus/reason/vision to do so. The exploits of Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, as well as the imminent one of Elon Musk, have shown that we can get enthusiastic about something other than our own petty, and even seemingly serious, problems. The boundless enthusiasm of these jaded entrepreneurs has shown us that child-like dreams are possible. It’s a great lesson for humanity and for all of us, as individuals. We have the ability to smile about the future as, indeed, we almost certainly have to, in order to survive as a species.
The successful space shots of Branson and Bezos, and hopefully that of Musk, have shown that the basic required survival trait for mankind has not disappeared, despite much evidence to the contrary. That is:
“VISION FOR THE FUTURE”
The sound-bite culture we current live in, virtually excludes the possibility of vision. There isn’t time, or even interest, in developing that skill. As a result the concept of vision is in an increasing state of atrophy. Simply stated, without vision we are going nowhere, except possibly to oblivion.
I wrote a blog, some time ago, that was entitled “The United States needs a Purpose”. I think that concept also applies globally. We are now a global community, whether we like it or not. Denial is myopic, dangerous, and stupid. We should stop running as fast as we can, slow down, and think about where we are going. “Vision” could result, if we are lucky.
We all depend on leaders, and leadership, as guides for the future. It is therefore even more important that people who aspire to responsible leadership positions, develop the skill of “Vision”. Unfortunately that is a very difficult ability to acquire because it requires standing up to be counted, even when that position is unpopular.
More and more, everyone is afraid of making a decision, in case they are criticized for it. Few people appear to have the guts to do what is right, rather than what’s expedient. To be fair, you have to be prepared for criticism, rejection, humiliation, vilification and ridicule if you do stand up to be counted. Not many people are willing to enter that arena, and we all suffer as a result.
You may notice that I said responsible leadership. One of the unfortunate results of the fear of taking a stand, is that leaders with no sense of responsibility, merely inflated egos and questionable ethics, tend to fill leadership roles. We have plenty of examples of that trend, over history, and today is no exception.
The question then becomes, what can we do to encourage responsible leadership, or even require responsible leadership? It has to involve a change in culture, and that can only come from education, in the broadest sense. I wish I knew the answer. I don’t, but I will explore this concept more, in future blogs. The quest for vision is a fundamental concern for mankind.