Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An historic day.

I'm writing after viewing election results for our soon-to-be 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. I am so proud to be an American this night. It is the beginning of a new era.

This afternoon I heard a speech by Malcolm Gladwell. An author I have long respected, but never actually heard speak in person. His speech focused on an unusual idea. In a nutshell, Gladwell says that primarily through ignorance and attitude, our modern culture is wasting vast amounts of human potential. Whether it be in sports or business or any area, we may think we have excellence - but in reality we are quite limited. The most interesting thing about that state of limitation being that it is partially self-imposed. It turns out we are pretty bad at creating a culture of opportunity and success for all.

The secret, Gladwell says, to unlocking the true capabilities of people, is what he calls "meaningful work". That is to say, when people work on something with their full mind and soul, they can do extraordinary things. Not because of some innate talent or lucky position - but simply because they decide to do something, and they work and work until it is done.

I love this idea. I believe it. And tonight, I saw it happen with my own eyes.

PS: Thanks to Tom for the photo of this car driving by Grant Park tonight right before Obama gave his speech.

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