Thursday, November 13, 2008

In the Lap of Illusion

I ran into an acquaintance yesterday.
A young man who had managed to build for himself a successful life that many would consider enviable.
He had everything going for him. A growing number of investments on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange, a couple of properties, a thriving business and a beautiful wife.
But when I met with him yesterday, his countenance was far from the perfect picture I have tried to paint for you. He was no longer as spirited as I knew him to be.
The current financial crisis has dealt a devastating blow to his dreams and accomplishments.
Whilst he talked, there was nothing much I could say to him. I dived deep inside me to bring up any words of encouragement and hope I would have expected to be told if I were in his shoes. And? Nothing except: 'I am so sorry'.
What did I learn from this unfortunate encounter?
There is nothing certain any more in our world.
Some say the only things that are certain are taxes and death.
For many people who have built their lives on the certainty of man-made institutions and philosophies, today's world is quite scary and the future as bleak as it gets.
Most of the ideas and ideologues previously considered infallible are crumbling around us everyday. Millions of people all over the world are literally waking up in a new world that they are not familiar with.
Long gone are the days when communism was considered a certainty.
The fall of the Soviet Union as well as the complete abandonment of the system by China are ample proofs.
Gone are the days when free market capitalism was considered a certainty.
If you don't believe me, read this, and this as well as this
Gone are the days when branded financial institutions were considered certainties.
Lehman Brothers is no more. AIG has been nationalised and billions of dollars and Euros have been set aside by many nations to bail out some of the most branded financial houses. Read further.
Gone are the days when a college degree was a certainty for a well-paying job and a secure future. Read this.
Whilst the world changes around us, I guess we need to master the courage to discover the real certainty of our own humanity and continue to dream of a better world.

Pal, if you are reading this take courage and try again.
We are praying for you.


Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

It makes one wonder what the real underlying problem is. Has the hman race not put too much faith in technology and sacrificed other things? It also makes one think, in everything, that 'ain't no use'. This may breed laziness and place us all in more jeopardy. Are there any positives in this plight? Or shall we say 'blight'?

Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

Hey Posekyere, we are doing a group post again on 15 Nov. The title is something like 'Football: A view out of Ghana'. Just thought you should know.

Denise said...

Hi Poksekyere, been thinking along the same lines lately - just how much of what was certain is now uncertain. You raised some crucial points and thanks for the links.
Coincidentally, I just started to read 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' and what immediately struck me is how much our education systems and in some cases (many cases!) us as parents also tend to antiquated the values, approaches and way of thinking within our children. The way we educate our children too has to change if they are to deal with the changes we are now seeing and those yet to come.

posekyere said...

Hi Nana Yaw,

I guess we, as human beings, are at the threshold of something momentous. The accumulation of all human endeavours and exploits in technology, science and the arts has finally placed us at a point where, perhaps, the rate of change is now becoming almost unmanagable.
We need to learn to catch up with change itself if we are to enjoy what we have created.
It is a tough challenge from whatever angle one looks at it

posekyere said...

Hi again, Nana Yaw,
Wow, football!
Whilst I love watching it on TV, I have never really thought much about football.
I will see what is happening around me seeing 2010 is in full steam here.

Thanks for letting me know.

posekyere said...

Hi Denise,
Thanks for the thoughtful comments.
You are so right!
It is becoming clearer in this day that the values passed on by parents to their children is antiquated due to the fact that the rate of change is accelerating exponentially and therefore impractical by the time they are out there in the world.
The question is: how do we teach the children now what they will need tomorrow when we ourselves do not know what tomorrow holds?

To be able to do that will require each of us to acquire degrees in probability and stochastics!
This again is impractical.
The trick, probably, is to put extra premium on godly values above all else.
Thanks again.