Dr. Mario Barrett, Ph.D. asked:
Everyday we hear that the world around us is changing. However, I wonder do we really understand how drastic and profound these changes really are, as well as how they will impact our lives? Do we realize how the changing world will affect our political, economic, educational systems, as well as our societal structure? Can we truly grasp the magnitude of how our lives will be changed by the evolution of people/nations half a globe away?
Countries that America once deemed as third world are now developing at such a rapid and unprecedented rate that Americans are being inundated with never seen before issues such as record high oil prices (due in part to increased foreign demand), increasing job outsourcing (due in part to globalization-qualified cheap labor outside of U.S. borders), and a ever-widening digital divide (those that have access to technology such as the Internet versus those that don’t). All of these issues appear to have sprung upon the average American out of nowhere, creating a sense of national uneasiness. This is why most Americans believe that the country is on the wrong course, and that a change in leadership is necessary.
With the Presidential election season upon us, Americans are asking the candidates what they can do to fix the economy and bring our troops home from Iraq. However, we need to be asking more penetrating questions, as those being posed regarding the economy and Iraq are surface level and do not go to the root of the issues. If one goes one or two levels deeper, one will find that there are complex dynamics that play on one another, which are influencing the issues I mentioned earlier.
Our current political leaders understand these dynamics to some degree, and are trying their best to address them the best way they know how. However, the problem is that they are trying to address unprecedented problems with antiquated tactics. It is very difficult to address unprecedented problems with the same old solutions, which is why it appears that America is losing its prestige around the world and its way.
America needs a new brand of leadership, informed by a new way of thinking. One that will devise new ways of viewing and interacting with an ever-changing world, so that new solutions to never before seen problems can be addressed without severely damaging America’s psyche, image, and standing in the world. Issues such as the Iraq war and the lackluster economy would be better served if different questions were poised to those running for high office. And who should be posing these questions? Why, us of course. Penetrating questions such as:
Is America still a super power? If not, why?
What can we do to keep our standing in the world?
What will be the role of China and India in the near future?
How will that role impact America?
Will these countries surpass America as the economic engines and military might in the coming decades? And if so, what can we ‘the people” do to remain competitive and not just American corporations?
How will America deal with the competition for natural resources spurred by these countries’ emerging economies? What can we do now to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and natural resources?
How will the average American student compete with students from around the world that already perform at a higher scholastic level?
How can we restructure our school system to address our scholastic weaknesses?
How will all of these issues impact America’s economic viability and competitiveness in the global marketplace?
With difficult questions such as these to be posed and answered, it is no wonder that Americans are a bit jittery about their future. Problem is, we are not asking these questions of our leaders or ourselves. Are we scared to ask these questions? Are we scared to get the answers? Or worse, are we scared of shifting our thinking and behavior if we get answers to these questions that require us to change? But, fear not my fellow countrymen and women, as uncertainty is a far scarier place when we are uninformed. In order to reduce our level of uncertainty with the change occurring around us, I would like you to take the time to immerse yourself in any media and literature that will facilitate your learning more about what is going on in the world around you. As you become more aware of the changes occurring around you, brainstorm by asking and trying to answer questions such as:
What can I do to put myself in the best position to deal with the ever-changing world?
How can I help my country remain relevant as other nations ascend?
How can I help my fellow man/woman prosper in the new age of globalism and interconnectivity amongst people, nations, and economies?
How can I be a new type of leader or encourage a new brand of leadership for a new type of world?
The world is changing-Am I ready, willing, and able to change with it in a way that I as well as my fellow citizens can be prosperous?