As the recession grows deeper, the promise of a better day lies ahead, and we all expect the American spirit to rise like the phoenix of old to enjoy a new day of enthusiasm and prosperity. We must always believe in a better day because that belief will make that vision come more quickly than despair. We must believe in our innate greatness, our enduring strength of character, and ability to innovate around failures of the past. Being knocked down is not the same as being knocked out, and the sheer courage to step up to a challenge is one of our greatest assets.
It should also be said that the world that we knew before the recession had its out-of-control problems. We sent too much (including the government). We wasted too much (particularly the government). We allowed ourselves to think that we could never exhaust the abundance of resources that surrounded us. We also grew from about 4 billion people in the 1950's to 6.7 billion in 2008. Those who keep count are predicting 9 billion people in the world by 2025. We are living longer and mortality rates are smaller factor pressing on Our resources. This and so much more leads to a certain reality that things will change because they must. This change will not happen how or when we dictate, but change can be good for all involved.
With all that said, it seems likely that the economic recession is part of the change in world dynamics which will strike home with hard lessons to be learned. Those who trusting in corporations and pensions where suddenly faced with Enron failure, stock market crashes, and soaring gas prices. In the end, it appeared that there were no safe havens. As the new administration came into power in Washington, there was the magic promise of "jobs." Not just any jobs. They were Green jobs that would propel us into a brighter future and prosperous economy.
Now, it may be overly skeptical to suggest that jobs alone are not the answer, but think with me for a moment about Green jobs and Green careers. Jobs are often ridiculed using the acronym JOB or Just Over Broke. The massive creation of jobs by the government are good for some parts of the economic suffering, but not the best answer to the challenge. Business growth by the private sector is the very best way out of this mess. When terminated with unemployment, any solution to pay the bills and provide for your family may require … just a job. If you want to be a part of the real solution, a career is better than a job.
When thinking about the jobs that will be created by the government, will these be long-term carers with good pay and strong benefits? This seems unlicensed. The stimulus program is a short-term fix that will hopefully get be off the public dole and back into private sector jobs. What the government creates will be jobs that will disappear over time. The very nature of the financial constraints means that there will not be hundreds of thousands of jobs paying $ 40,000 or more. The fact is that President Obama has asked governors of every state to bring him "Shovel Ready" projects that are designed to help the failing infrastructure by repairing roads, buildings, and bridges of our states. Even the Green jobs seem to require strong arms and backs as we rebuild projects or install Green projects through the country.
While applauding the need to create jobs, there is certainly the better opportunity of creating Green careers where the leaders take hold of this crisis to make their mark in the expanding hope of the future. Every battle has foot soldiers, but there must be a leadership by those who are ready and willing to lead. You can not be afraid to fail, and you must not give in to fear. The good days are still out there. One interesting fact that we must capture in our minds is that millionaires and billionaires are often created out of the worst times in history. If you had the money, you can buy property now for pennies on the dollar that will make you extraordinarily rich in the coming real estate recovery. Those who buy stock during the worst days of the market will reap extreme profits as the market rallies. No doubt that those who invest in this "bottom of the market" economy will be positioned to make millions as the world returns to enjoy a better season.
The world that will emerge will be "Green" and our lifestyles will be governed by a consciousness that we must make things work in a world of finite resources and increased population demand. We need leadership that does not mere come from Washington, DC, but from the grassroots and private sector where people live and conduct business. Unlike a Green job, a Green career does not come with a fixed income … and that is not a bad thing. A Green career has no boss which is good for those who like to work to make a better world for us all. You can not get fired or laid off, yet you wake up every day unemployed until you turn your available time into available work.
There are those who should take the Green jobs and rejoice that they can pay their bills. There is, however, an obvious and expanding need for leaders to step forward as the dawn breaks on the new and Green society that will happen next. It will happen because it must happen. And, perhaps, this whole economic pothole in the road of life was a good thing for us after all. We lived badly, ate badly, and wasted far too much. The rules will be different and the path will be unfamiliar, but leaders will lead us and people will covet this leadership. Wherever you are, whoever you may be, and regardless of what your circumstances of the past … we need you now! You are called, not by the people who struggle now, but by the knowledge that something must be done. When you look inside you see a meager flame of passion that wants to be a roaring fire. You feel an internal tide that wants to rush back to shore after being pushed out to sea. You alone know that the real challenge is not just a job, but a career that provides the leadership that must be shared by more than just one man leading the government.
It has been faithfully said that "Where there is no vision, the people perish." And, our country should not and will not perish in this tumultuous time. We have visionaries, prophets, leaders, inventors, and innovators. We still believe. We still hope. We still care. All that we believe as a people is distilled and propagated by leaders. Not just the leaders who were elected to positions of safety, but the leaders who were never elected but still stood in their communities and rallied others to a higher vision. Henry Ford took us from foot and horse to travel to automobiles. Thomas Edison took us from candles and lamps to an illuminated city. Robert Goddard open the door to space that took us to the moon. Bill Gates put a computer in every home and opened a new way of business to all of us. These were not politicians. They were men that were too busy making a difference to take a job.
If the tide that has washed our dreams out to sea is longing in you to bring back a fresh swell of refreshing blessing, it is your time. Leaders rise up from obscure to dare the odds, risk failure, and embrace the change that is coming. That day will be a Green era where economies, governments, businesses, and families will learn a new way of life. We need those who know something about destiny and hope to lead us. That is why some should take a green job and some should opt for a Green career. There is a difference, and that difference is vision.