Things have at least ostensibly become a bit difficult of late for our workingman and workingwoman heroes. We no longer have the 20th century luxury of being kept employees trading our freedom in for a secure job. That's really what the bargain was and still is when you can get it. And lots of people want that deal just so that they can follow the customary path to security.
We don't grow up safe and snug in our communities and families anymore knowing we'll be taken care of by our kin if worse comes to worse. So, this new heroic undertaking, is truly heroic. Being human is no doubt potentially heroic to begin with, but now many of us are thrust into the breach, perhaps without realizing it. A breach that calls for sustained courage and ingenuity.
It used to be that if you were born into or managed to gain the advantage in life, you could probably keep it. And that's certainly not all gone away, for those who have wads of money and aren't foolish with it. But promises can't be made for those lucky few anymore - because, the truth is, we're not sure what's gonna happen next.
Consider those poor souls in the World Trade center buildings. Quite a few of these people were hotshots. And I think you would agree, we didn't imagine that the twin towers would ever collapse. Sure we had some fears lurking about terrorism - we'd certainly seen some scary flicks - some which seemed possible - but not like that!
During the dot com boom, lots of people quit more conventional jobs and either started their own businesses or threw their lot in with a start-up. The cautionary tale here is that a few got rich and many more were worked almost to death without much reward and are now scraping by looking for a job or freelance work.
So, what's the answer? How do we do this 21st century hero deal and come out smelling like a rose? I hate to say it, but it sure looks like we are knee deep in shit. Did I mention navigating muddy waters earlier? Yeah. We - you and me - are going to have to dig down and find what it takes to get through this transitional or perhaps long-term period of uncertainty.
These are some of the trends that are emerging right now. The internet stubbed its toe in the dot com crash, but rolls on becoming even more entrenched and ubiquitous - globally. There are droves of free agents in the economy. Smartness, information, creativity and individuality rule, trumping natural resources, industry, and even cheap labor. Computers are now firmly established as tools for communication, not computation.
All I can say is, fire up that website. Get and keep yourself connected and in communication with your buddies and your not-yet-known but nearby friends of friends. Your colleagues and former colleagues. The people you've found in your life that you can trust, who help you move forward, who are on your side and bring out the best in you. And all those kindred spirits around the globe who share your values and interests. Open your eyes. Face up to the fact that this isn't the past - it's the future! [To be Continued].