I'm not sure about you, but I spent a good part of the weekend patriotically reflecting on the state of our country. Given our recent debt binge, food crises and oil spills, I have to admit, I wasn't quite as proud of the good ole U.S. of A. as I have been in recent years. But I am an eternal optimist, so I put my thinking cap on in an effort to figure out how to make some lemonade out of our recent handful of lemons, and here is what I came up with:
Our Founding Fathers were revolutionaries. In their highest form of patriotism, they revolted. Big time. How about that? So to the food revolutionaries, energy revolutionaries, educational revolutionaries and health revolutionaries, take heart. It's in your genes.
Our country was also founded by entrepreneurs who envisioned a better way of doing things. And as I read the Economist over the weekend, I was struck by our country's passion for creativity: it manifests itself in Pixar films, "and their unbridled enthusiasm for individualism," iPhones and the occasional Wall Street mortgage derivative. Most of the time, we're good at it ("though business history is littered with the corpses of corporate Icaruses that rose heavenwards on the wings of creativity only to plunge to the ground"). Thank goodness. Our creativity usually serves us well.
We are a nation of innovators, entrepreneurs, believers, creators and educators. We inspire each other every day. We revel in the brilliance and tenacity of someone like Steve Jobs and in the awe-inspiring rendition by 6th grader, Greyson Chance, of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi". We thrive on triumph as we watch the World Cup, the atmospheric successes of Arianna Huffington, YouTube founders, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, and countless others whose stories of hardship and perseverance bare stark resemblance to our own if only we had the courage to believe.
So we believe ... in the face of enormous odds, hardship and headwinds, we believe. Just as our Founding Fathers believed in a better tomorrow. We envision a new model, a smarter system, an integrative design that creatively deconstructs our existing paradigms and replaces them with new infrastructures, new beliefs, new hopes, brighter dreams.
As Americans, it appears that hope has been genetically engineered into our DNA. Our country was founded on it -- our Founding Fathers bravely showing us that in order to be patriots, we must also be pioneers. So perhaps, in an enormous burst of patriotism, it is time to fear less so that you can do more. Unleash your passion, leverage your unique talents, and "think different". Humanity just may be depending on you.
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