“No battle was ever won according to plan, but no battle was ever won without one.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower
“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower
Since it’s a near year the topic of New Year’s Resolutions might be on some people’s minds but if you are serious about attaining your goals you won’t wait for an arbitrary start date. You should set them as soon as you are able to articulate them and get started. What are your goals? If you ask most people this question they probably won’t have a very good answer. In fact I do not have perfect goals set at this point but I am developing them.
Since it seems the next 11 months will be filled with politics I can also link that in here. Politicians are really just running on what their goals are. Unfortunately they all seem to have very vague goals. Politicians are generally focused on getting elected which is just a popularity contest. As some scientists are seeming to discover, people are not smart enough for democracy to work and it doesn’t seem as if any of Plato’s Philosopher Kings are in our future.
Our biggest goal for the world should be providing security to each person, the security to prosper independently or in collaboration with each other. People should get the opportunity to seek any position they desire. There will be people who don’t reach their goals but the fact that they got the opportunity to try is the important thing.
On a positive note according to Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth in 2001 1.1 billion of 6.1 billion (18%) people lived in extreme poverty whereas in 1981 1.5 billion of 4.4 billion (34%) people in the world were in extreme poverty. The positive note here is that there are fewer people in poverty now and the percent is also lower.
This is a good start but it also seems to be slow progress to me. I believe with more dedication on our part (the rich of the world and if you are reading this on a computer and live in the US you can consider yourself rich, check the Global Rich List if you think you aren’t) we could help others prosper much quicker, certainly before the end of my lifetime (which should be over 50 years) but hopefully in 20 years or less (that’s my specific goal).
Sure this is a large goal and it’s much larger than any one person. The good news is we aren’t in this alone. We are all in this together. Let’s take the historic example of another seemingly incredible goal with a short deadline, going to the moon.
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.” – JFK
See the power of a goal? A problem is if we don’t know where we are, we can’t know where we are going. Most people are so wrapped up in the day to day of their lives. For some this is imperative. They have to worry about where their next meal will come from. For others their daily worry is how their stock market holdings will play out or how soon they can buy their next car or see their next movie or their upcoming vacation. Which group are you in?
The good news is that as shown above, we are on a good path and just by looking around you will see that education is pervading. You can learn more today for free than you could ever learn in the past, even if you traveled the whole world. There are free classes online from MIT. There are channels dedicated to teaching on a more fun level. There is also Wikipedia.
There are also plenty of local, national and international organizations dedicated to helping others escape the cycle of poverty. The sad thing is that these organizations are often underfunded. It’s more fun to play with cars (my own personal vice) or other things, than spend your time helping other.
It is only by bringing our collective brain power to bear on the challenges of those who have not that we can bring the whole of society forward.