I tried to raise two third-culture kids. I failed, but I think this is a good thing.
When I grew up my family did a lot of traveling. My father worked for Delta, so flying was normal life. By seven, I was allowed to travel solo to visit relatives. By the time I reached double digits I had memorized the security codes for the “Authorized Personal Only” airport doors in Dallas, Denver, Cincinnati, and Atlanta. I knew where I could get cheap food and a nap while waiting for a flight under the normal airport. I had been to all 50 states by the time I was a teenager and I had been to Europe numerous times. My father constantly pushed us out of our comfort zones and I was equally comfortable building a log cabin in the North Georgia mountains with a toothless 70 year-old mountain man as I was choosing the proper fork at a the Cincinnati country club. Okay, maybe I was a little more comfortable in the mountains.
Despite this upbringing, I found myself married and working as a realtor raising two children in a small town with a white picket fence. Ughhh! I saw my kids growing up in complete homogeny and it drove me crazy.
Something had to change.
[click to continue…]
William Strauss and Neil Howe wrote a book called The Fourth Turning back in the ‘90s that has enjoyed a lot of renewed popularity recently.
The two authors proposed a really cool idea of history: Rather than advancing in a linear fashion, which always propels us forward to higher and higher levels of progress and advancement, history is actually cyclical and should be viewed just like the changing of the seasons in nature.
They argue that the growing perception that the world is in crisis today shouldn’t be surprising. Based on their cyclical theory of history, we are in crisis, and these crises happen with fairly predictable timing every 80-100 years.
[click to continue…]
Let’s be clear about one thing…
The end of the world as we know it, is not the end of the world.
There are a million things you can do to prepare for the end of the world as we know it. None of them are more important than preparing your mind.
If your mind is not sharp, flexible, and agile, you will struggle no matter what else you do to prepare, because no one knows what the future holds.
There are many who believe Western economies are about to fall to their knees, and there is a lot of evidence to support this. But remember, there was a lot of evidence things would fall apart during Y2K …and we all know how that turned out.
A careful study of history sounds like a good idea, but it has pitfalls as well.
Educated people may point out parallels between our society and the third dynasty of Ur in ancient Mesopotamia. They may point out the similarities to the Roman Emperor, Diocletian, who let inflation get the better of him. They will tell you that our government is like the French government in the 1790s, that lost control of its currency and food shortages ensued. This is all very compelling. ”Is this our path?” we might rightly wonder.
[click to continue…]
Most of what I learned in college has left me. But there are two linguistic facts that have always stayed. To this day, I think of them often.
I remember an anthropology class where I learned about a native tribe who only had 4 numbers in their language: ”One”, “two”, “three” and “more than three.” I often wondered how that worked with their accounting and tax returns.
Secondly, I learned that ancient Greeks considered the future to be behind us. This sounds backwards to English speakers, but the Greek word “opiso,” which literally means ”back” or ”behind,” refers to the future and not the past. And if you open your mind to it, this makes a lot more sense. We know very well what happened in the past. We, hopefully, know with certainty what we had for breakfast this morning. From this perspective, we can see what is in front of us (the past) very clearly.
The future, however, is another matter entirely. It is difficult to predict or know what will happen in the future. From this perspective, the future would naturally be behind us, because we cannot see it.