There is an old business school story, a lesson about survival – about hanging on before extinction – about the best buggy-whip manufacturers, just before the automobile came into vogue. It wasn’t that their buggy-whips weren’t good, but they became irrelevant, dismissed to the dust-bin of history, a footnote at best in history books.
The lesson there: not to be comforted by taking on a growing share of a shrinking market without adapting to something new.
I’ve often wondered if that is the fate for us all – as we age, rendered obsolete by something new, or someone new, cast aside with yesterday’s trash. Something we’ve been deliberately planning for. We create a new generation, raise them, educate them, and then set them loose – with that exact intention, that they replace us.
They, meek or not, shall inherit our earth.
But whoa, we’re not done yet.
Our children, this new generation in charge, will live through problems we never imagined, solve problems we created, develop their own inventions and innovations.
And they will then create their replacements.
We might, for our short while, refer to them as grandchildren, but sooner than we might expect, they will become owners of the earth with all the gusto and bravado we had. As their generation takes on the world, we will smile in our own realization of how short any generation’s reign will be.
Progress may stall from time to time, but this intergenerational transfer of empowerment seems never-ending and inevitable. Throughout history – through natural disasters and human-caused catastrophes, our capacity to build, and build, to replace ourselves with better things, better methods, and better people seems limitless.
We will, no doubt, have correction periods – just like the planet, when every ice-age or two there is a reset to the climate, a reset to which species thrive and which ones fail to survive.
If we could live for thousands of years, we could see it, and understand it as few have – but then, if we did, if we could, would we make better decisions?
Love it. I’ve had 3 big moments of clarity helping me correct my bad behavior, as well as, for me, smaller moments about people and things. Since the first of the big ones, I’ve wished all could have these moments when they want and/or need them, but, unfortunately don’t see people have them, even if I wish they could. For me, I say the light came on. As you say, from that moment on that subject is crystal clear. LH, Lethbridge, AB
Great article Mark. Thank you. Clarity for me is often also called “intuition”. But that’s just me. Have a great week. Enjoy the weather today!, DS, Calgary, AB