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Success, Failure...some of my greatest failures have been a springboard to my greatest successes...the terms are truly fluid.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Snapshot in Time


To me, writing is like taking a snapshot in time. I can not possibly write about everything I care about or everything I see shifting. All I can do is catch small snapshots in time…windows where I can stop and consciously look about me and figure out what is going on in the moment, nothing more.


I awoke this morning to a life I just love. I have had two days to rest and recoup from years of studies without a break. I have been studying through the January break, summer break….going back to 2012...That is where I stand today….I am relaxing…breathing….

The finals were hard…nail biting affairs where I felt I was on the verge of being pushed out over a C….(in this school an A, B and C were my grades last term…that C got me put on academic probation!)


The Development Project Management program I just finished after the term was also pretty intense….lots of nail biting there….and pushing myself to the limits and in my opinion I found myself doing a mediocre job….but fathoming everything I could get my mind to wrap around. I also loved the connections to the people around me. I will give myself a great inner score for trying so hard…and getting the point of our studies so clearly aligned in my head.

It seemed to illustrate the points being presented to have new, outsiders in our midsts…guests working on certifications….civilians I guess…..they added ideas and outlooks and improved the atmosphere that was swollen with other regulars at the school, thrown together from a couple of programs.


Don't get me wrong, I love the regulars. I love everything about this school since I am convinced that it is a clear representation of what world peace would feel like….but having non schoolees adds so much more to the mix….like a time I attended a lecture that had many retired brass from the military school nearby mixed with economic developers and disaster relief people as well as other students from many disciplines at the school. I felt that during that lecture format I had seen the future that was not so full of paradigms that divided military and relief efforts….a world where everyone could share the one goal of building up together after relief. After all the military held many lessons that the disaster relief people could gain from and vice versa.



The subject matter on innovation in my already completed summer program made it clear that mixing together new people creates new innovations and ideas since the outliers are the ones who will create new outlooks and perspectives. And inadvertently create answers or new ideas coupled with conversations with the older entrenched handlers of the problem.


I felt that this was the single best lesson of the series (which was frankly chock full of them!)…innovations are created by allowing different groups to play with the information and come up with fresh ideas…..


What a novel concept!! And this idea is not just some new idea toyed around amongst a handful of side bar groups. This is a concept being embraced by the UN, which is now encouraging its employees to work elsewhere for a few years! The old paradigm of finding an employer and sticking with them until retirement is thankfully dead for the time being. I never did believe that fairy tale…I never saw an employer that really took care of its people to deserve that kind of loyalty.

It might have been OK to think like that in the 60s when a company will take care of you now and your family until you die… when a person could work from 25 to 65 for the same place since technology was moving forward at a crawl compared to now….but lets look at today….every few years innovations are causing us to learn new devices and programs that can turn out to be the only tools for the trade in whatever field you move or cling to. Consider your smart phone, your computer….your laptop….your smaller netbook….your even smaller tablet….that is simply today’s devices…which will shift tomorrow I am certain.


Everything I learned at my junior college in 1981, is completely out of date….the psychology, the English…(we don’t put a period after the initials for CA anymore!)…my Astronomy book assures me there are nine planets…my ex learned to draw with paper, pencils and stencils in his architecture courses! Not one CAD computer in sight back then!


How ridiculous it seems to consider our school lives done after a first BA! We should all be figuring on going back to some sort of educational experience every thirty years if you ask me….we are living longer and yet we cling to those old moldy paradigms that leave the educational status to the young at heart and mind…yet in my school some of the best educators are not younger then 65! I think it is a crazy way to look at life to assume that education is complete and work is done at 65 when 1/3 babies is expected to live to be 100 now in the US…perhaps we should look more at the older concepts that every society on the planet adheres to….older people have experienced stuff….they hold wisdom every younger person could learn from….


From my perspective we should be recruiting older people to be returning to school and bringing forth their wisdom and experience…coupled with new fresh studies….and enhance the planet with real learning experiences.


Lucky for me….my grad school seems to already be into the idea of making sure our learning experience has real components from people who have actually done these exciting positions in life and kept themselves relevant by updating constantly and interacting with other groups and divisions in the school.

This cross-breeding style of knowledge has enhanced the outlay that I find offered in my program. I can experience classes with hands on background wisdom from many different ideas….we have economics professors with a heavy bend on the environment….and a favorite economic development professor who has also worked in the OECD and throughout South America….we have a strong military influence that also has its hands in Terrorism Studies and a huge influence by the Peace Corps.

I think it is this same focus on sharing knowledge and intermixing the different divisions that makes my school superior at creating new fresh minds for creating my imaginary peaceful world.


Just my snapshot view….I guess it could change tomorrow….but I think it is crucial to start investing heavily in our aged population’s wisdom…not just for improving the US GDP but for the world’s enhancement.


There are other countries on the planet where women are discouraged from working. With half the population not allowed to bring in a cash income they have forced their countries to always play second fiddle to the others of us who encourage everyone but children and older people to work. Imagine how much less our country would have achieved if we had benched half of our best players instead of encouraging them as we have to some degree.


In some ways we have done the same to a crowd that has been getting significantly healthier and more mentally fit then ever over the last 50 years.


If someone wants to retire at 65, by all means let them. But what if we are benching some of the wisest, best and brightest….way before their time? Having a hearing aid does not make you less wise….or incapable of sharing a vast wealth of experience with the rest of us, with or without an education. But what if we started treating the over 65 crowd like they should be free to choose options….opt in, opt out…or change your mind at will?

What if we started actually encouraging the over 65 crowd to come back to school? What if we allowed them to know that they hold wisdom that might be useful….very useful…if they came back with their old knowledge of the Cold War era mixed with the new technologies? This could be a unique blending of the best of both worlds that can handle issues and provide answers to global warming, national security, environmental disasters and cyber security…..and we could wind up adding some fresh old faces to the mix that might really cause some amazing innovations…..just my take I know but I want to go to my school with a proposal about this same issue…I have already brought it up at a meeting with the school’s president…though I just mentioned it on the side….he seemed to understand what I was saying…so now I plan on taking my studies over the last weeks and creating a proposal for my school to be the front line in this concept I have about encouraging the older crowd to come back…they might laugh at me or take a while to think of it but even the mere creation of this proposal is, for me, an exercise in practicing my last modules of school study during my Development Management Program. That means that no matter what, I can’t lose….it is the trying that is always worth doing.


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