The Herald Bulletin

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Columns

March 25, 2014

Primus Mootry: A call for leadership in the 21st century

Have you ever driven a car at 100 mph? If so, you know there is little time for error. If you take your eyes off the road for a second or two, you might wind up in the middle of a cornfield. That's if you're lucky.

So it is with today's world. For millions of years human history moved at a relative snail's pace. You know, the hunter gatherers, the farmers and the Industrial Age folk. These human groups dominated for a long period of time, up until about 70 years ago, in fact. That's when things really began to speed up.

As I have suggested in previous articles on this subject, the sheer speed at which we are moving changes everything, just like driving at 100 mph changes everything. That leisurely view of hills and trees becomes a blur. You can't see because you have to keep your eyes glued to the road ahead.

Driven largely by information and computer technologies, our world has been turbo-charged that way. Those who long for "the good ol' days" can forget about it. Those days are gone forever.

From time to time, I meet someone here in Anderson who still believes General Motors is coming back to town. They don't seem to notice that, unlike just 40 years ago, to see anything other than a GM automobile was a rarity. Once hated foreign cars are commonplace now.

In this very local sense, the disappearance of GM also meant the disappearance of jobs, the displacement of thousands of middle management and line workers, the disappearance of dozens of small businesses, many neighborhood school closings, and other effects.

What is clear here is that certain kinds of community losses are not isolated events. They have a profound, far reaching ripple effect.

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