It seems to me that nobody has the long-range vision thing anymore. Politicians seem focused on their next election, business men seem focused on the end of their fiscal year, and the average Joe seems focused on the next Friday night/the next payday/the next big sports event.
It used to be that someone would ask us, “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?” The next question was, “What steps are you taking to make that goal happen?” I don’t see any of that happening anymore. Sure, there are projections of national job growth or the rise/decline of the national debt and similar things, but by-and-large, it feels like the world we live in is adrift. It feels to me like things are more reactive than planned for, with fallback plans just in case.
Again, that could just be me. Maybe I don’t have enough information on what is going on. Maybe there is more happening behind the scenes than I know about; I certainly hope so. Still it seems to me that people, politicians especially, are doing things without considering the long-range implications.
One of the fields where the lack of long-range understanding seems to be taking its toll is in Education. Our children now spend more time testing than they ever have before, while less emphasis is on how to think. The end-product is a society of test takes who do not really understand cause and effect. Our schools are being run for profit; either by companies who create tests for the students, or the companies that do the criterion testing for would-be teachers. Someone makes a bundle of money and we get a strongly diluted Education system
Students in Latvia, Chile and Brazil are making gains in academics three times faster than American students, while those in Portugal, Hong Kong, Germany, Poland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Colombia and Lithuania are improving at twice the rate. Researchers estimate that gains made by students in those 11 countries equate to about two years of learning. (Huffington Post, March 14, 2014)
I wish I had answers for the problems I see, but I don’t. I do think we need to go back to basics on many things and look beyond the bottom line philosophy that has gripped our country. We are a Capitalist society, and I do not argue with that, but I think our leaders, especially our business leaders, need to take a look at more than the immediate bottom line. We need leaders who can think beyond their immediate interests, or the interests of their political party, or the greatest return to their stockholders, and see what will be best for all of us in the future.
I guess I am done now, and glad to get that off my chest. I wish anyone who has read through all this, a happy week, a great month, and a bright future.