My recent holiday reading included Dennis McCarthy’s Here be Dragons, a primer on biogeography. Biogeography integrates the theories of natural selection and plate tectonics to explain the diversity and dispersion of plants and animals as our physical world has changed radically over the eons.
A few thoughts came to mind, which might put our recent financial and economic turmoil into perspective:
- Stability is an illusion – Change is rampant, overwhelming and usually unpredictable. We often look back with fondness to those “good old days of yesteryear.” The phenomenon probably results in part from our human tendency to remember the good and forget the bad. Life is more like a roller coaster, and sometimes it just leaves the tracks.
- Progress is erratic and uneven – Technological and other breakthroughs often seem to come out of nowhere when in fact they have been preceded by (and often built upon) years, decades, or millennia of effort resulting in miniscule incremental advancement. While we can certainly work on it, we can’t count on it.
- Survival, let alone prosperity, is not guaranteed – Sometimes things just don’t work out. Thousands upon thousands of species have vanished from the Earth in very short periods of time (geologically speaking) upon the breakup of continents or the arrival of periodic ice ages. Remember the dinosaurs?
It’s time to re-prioritize – personally and professionally – on what’s most important to you right here, right now. There’s nothing wrong with letting tomorrow take care of itself a bit.