I don’t think that struggle, or having a struggle, is a sign of weakness. I think that struggling is, like so many other less sturdy things people associate with leadership, the capital achievement of anybody living the robust life of an American citizen.
My name is Seth, and I am trying to build the model for the world’s next great discovery. It’s not an engine that turns water into fuel, but ‘struggle’ into ‘triumph.’
However, it seems that sometimes even I forget that challenges are a necessary part of my life, that it is always time to learn, or that there are always avoidable short-comings and inevitable opportunity-costs in whatever it is that I am struggling to achieve. People have been talking alot, from the Wall Street Journal to rumblings in The Library here in Chapel Hill, which i should make clear is a popular bar, that today’s progressive, regardless of party or association, is focused on complaints and self-sacrifice for the greater good, that progressives ought to feel a good struggle once in a while and earn the feeling of pride in a true breakthrough in economic development, for instance, that doesn’t require hand-outs from the government like the rest of America. After listening and struggling to think about it, I think that I agree with those people, or at least with their perspective, which still looks a little unfair on the large part to me. On the other hand, I already know that part of my undertaking is to flesh some rather nasty politically dysfunctional dialogue into the fabric of my public life. In me sometimes rises a personal struggle with a pubicly self-saluting debonair quilt that is better left on the coat hangar by the door when going outside.
Then the words, “…no temptation has overtaken you except that which is common to man…” 1 Corinthians 10:13, Sunday School, skies penetrate my attention span that are too bright to look at, and Bells ring in my head. Pause… take a breath… focus. Right now my faith has absolutely got to be in humanity to solve this thing, and it might take a lot more than that. My memory smacks into verses easily now. I’m thinking to myself “maybe it will help.” I remember memorizing these when I got into trouble at The Vineyardbecause we’re all in very, very big trouble right now. There isn’t much we can do by ourselves to get out of it. This is the kind of trouble where I have to turn over the whole damn system and redefine what trouble is. “Yes, wild dogs surround me –a gang of evil men crowd around me; like a lion they pin my hands and feet” psalms 22:16
That’s why I’m an entrepreneur in America’s salty Southeast. From a personal perspective that rises from the Battleground State of North Carolina, where discovering solutions and implementing them requires a kind of stone that a sea of extremes can break against, I recognize that these are new hard times that require a new hard-attitude to rise to the challenges confronting them.
The thrill of it excites me– something away from the downy balm of undeserved lifestyles saturated in excesses, which some thought we were born into spoon-in-mouth this last half-century! “I groan in prayer, but help seems far away.” Psalm 22:01
Our solutions will reach people and teach people in more than one kind of Library in the generations to come. Recently I saw the topsoil of arable yet unplanted NC land rise into the wind as I drove through the heartland of my state’s small farms. Our breakthroughs will enable and empower a better world, and will replenish the soil along highways in The Great Road-State so that the family farm never goes unplanted another year because of the combined effects of slowdown and stacking energy & grocery bills on the kitchen table.
Like the land, I am speechless and my thoughts yield little fruit. “The roof of my mouth is as dry as a piece of pottery; my tongue sticks to my gums. You set me in the dust of death.” Psalm 22:15
Struggle is a way for us to let our selves and others know that there’s an uphill battle to get where we need to be to do what we need to do, and that’s alright. In the midst of struggle is right where my friends and I need to be. One day salt could be a luxury for the rest of the country, but I’ll say that North Carolina has the salt of the earth right here. That’s exactly what we need to change the world.
“They will come and tell about his saving deeds; they will tell a future generation what he has accomplished.” Psalm 22:31
If you want to hear more frequent updates from me as my friends and I strive to turn struggle into triumph, follow me at www.twitter.com/SethWade
In response to the Rand-school article that you linked to, I think my father puts it best: there is nothing wrong with capitalism so long as the government is there to keep an eye on it. Contrary to what some free market proponents say, there are some self-interested, rational actors out in the markets of the world (although just how rational and far-sighted they are is debatable) who do greedy things that don’t help anybody – and those things are genuinely bad. Furthermore, while the free market works well (perhaps even best, ignoring certain equity issues) for private goods, it does not work as well for common or public goods. Environmental issues demonstrate this.
I like how this captures what we’re struggling for- solutions that bring opportunity, the long-term ability for people to grow within themselves and for the world – in metaphor. Nice post, Seth.
I am constantly reminding myself that yes, this is supposed to be a struggle, that a 4,000 year history of wrong turns won’t be changed at the drop of a hat. Keep up the work in the Southeast.