George Friedman (The Next Decade) Raises The Issue Of The Decade
People with a high level of personal mastery are acutely aware of their ignorance, their incompetence, and their growth areas.
Here is a question – when the news could be bad, do you want to know? Think about it carefully before you answer…
George Friedman, founder of Stratfor, is the author of The Next Decade: Where We’ve Been…and Where We’re Going. It is the follow-up to an earlier book, The Next 100 Years. It raises many important questions, especially how the United States can maintain its values while managing its status as an empire.
But buried in the book is a question for all of us. Here are two quotes from the book to get us to this question:
(this first quote flows from his reflections of the 2008 financial crisis):
Everyone was making money and no one could get hurt – it was the oldest story in the book. And most people didn’t care or didn’t want to believe that the bubble could burst.
Americans like to hold everyone responsible for the problems of the United States but themselves.
There is an underlying truth here. Maybe it is a human truth – i.e., true for all people. Maybe it is somewhat uniquely American. I’m not sure. But I know it is true for me.
I don’t want to know the bad that I need to change. The bad habits; the bad views; the bad opinions; the bad practices. I would just as soon be “left alone.”
Now this is strange, because I have written and spoken frequently on the need to be honest with ourselves regarding our areas of concern, our areas of weakness. I believe that we must discover our blind spots, and fix what can be (must be!) fixed..
But, I suspect if you corner me, what I really believe is that you should discover your blind spots. You should discover your weaknesses, and work on them. Just don’t tell me what mine are….
So, I plead guilty. Friedman is right – at least, about me. We “don’t want to believe” that the bubble could burst – whatever the bubble of the day/month/year/lifetime is for our own lives.
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