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You’re lucky that America is a nation of dreamers June 6, 2009

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", American Dreamers, Career Wisdom, Coaching, manifestation, Personal action plans, quality of life, Satisfaction, US, Veracity.
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In this piece, executive and leadership coach John M McKee makes the case that the world needs dreamers to get us past the recent crises.   Americans, he notes, have shown since July 4, 1776 that they will do what it takes when things are wrong; and they are already doing that now.

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Researching material for my third book, I’ve been reminded just how much the rest of the world still needs the US.

I’m an American by choice, having been born in Canada. Over my career I have worked on most continents and work with clients in Asia, Europe, and Australia in addition to North American.   As a result I believe I have a fairly broad perspective about what’s needed for the world to move out of this economic malaise and continue to flourish.

The United States was created by a group of dreamers – individuals who believed that the existing situation (rule by England) was unacceptable and who set out to change the status quo.  It’s worth noting that they did so by going against the law; as so many individuals who seek improvement must.

However, over the past couple of decades, it’s seemed to many (here and abroad) that the country and its citizens had become fat and lazy, often exhibiting qualities of “entitlement”.  Around the world, there has been a lot of grousing about the USA, with many feeling that perhaps it was time to bring the country down a notch or two.

Understandable.  Nobody likes a braggart.  And having to work hard to scratch out a living when others appear to have much better lives while doing less for it is bound to frustrate some.  In that regard, this country alienated a lot of allies and friends elsewhere.  As the stock markets crashed in 2008, I heard a lot of comments from people in other countries that, “it was about time” America took a hit.  As fortunes were lost, large corporations crashed, and unemployed rose, it was clear that many folks in other corners of the world felt little or no sadness for anyone in this country.

However, the question one needs to contemplate is this:  If the US were to fail, which country would jump in and take the lead?

  1. Economically, China has a great economic engine, and although much smaller, so does India.  But the 2 of them don’t add up to more that 60% of the US GDP.
  2. Spiritually, many countries can claim they have greater unity in their beliefs.  However, The US has the broadest spectrum of diverse religions that are actively practiced each week of anywhere in the world – including Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Christians of all shapes and sizes.
  3. Militarily, Russia has nukes and an appetite for greater status in the world again.  China wants to exert more influence beyond Asia and is doing so in both Africa and South America.  NATO remains a force to be reckoned with of course.  However, the US is still more likely than any other single country to jump in to protect the rights of citizens of foreign countries who are under seige.

And if one or more of these or other countries attempted to fill those spaces now occupied by the the USA, would the world really be better off?

I believe that the problems facing the US over the past year will prove to be extremely important for our maturity.   A consequence of all our recent problems will be that we will become a better version of ourselves – as individuals and as a country.

And you – regardless of where you are – will be lucky when that occurs.  President Obama has shown that he recognizes much of what is wrong with the country – internally and abroad.  Entrepreneurs like Roger Penske with the Saturn car company are already picking up the pieces of failed corporations such as General Motors and will ultimately create entities which create better products at lower cost.  The massive layoffs of the past year have caused many individual to rethink their lifestyles and values – we see more people becoming more concious of what’s really important for them and the country which will improve the decisions make at many levels.  Volunteerism is replacing a “poor me” attitude to the benefit of all parties.

We will become more optimistic again.  And in terms of a national characteristic that is uniquely American.

Carl Jung said that there are no coincidences, and further, that for things to improve they often have to fail miserably.

– john                        tn_John 016

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