A Big Idea, Please…
In today’s online NY Times, Timothy Egan posted an interesting blog. He posited that President Obama needs to come up with a simple, (not grandiose) “big idea” to show that he “is on the side of average Americans, who, in turn, must believe the country is moving in the right direction despite a painful economy.” What’s needed, is “to do what Americans have always been known for: building, innovating, making things.”
The U.S., as a country, had better come up with a Big Idea…and soon! I just returned from Shanghai this week – my first trip to China in several years. Chinese progress in infrastructure and technology is impressive, especially in light of our own crumbling roads and bridges and our inconsistent electrical grid and telecommunications. The Chinese young people I met with were intelligent, SUPER tech savvy and hungry for success. They were NOT, however, creative and innovative thinkers. They had genuine difficulty thinking outside the box. And as a generation of only children, they had poor interpersonal skills and lacked empathy. All of this bodes well for the next generation of Americans if someone can capture their spirit of optimism and provide them with a blueprint for the future. In my experience, American young people are multidimensional thinkers and, after the jolt of reality provided by the Recession, are ready to work hard. But they are waiting – waiting for inspiration and that Big Idea…We can’t wait much longer.
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