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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Ignorance is Bliss

A group of third, fourth and fifth graders, accompanied by two lady teachers, went on a field trip to the local race track to learn about thoroughbred horses and the supporting industry.

During the tour some of the children wanted to go to the toilet so it was decided that the girls would go with one teacher and the boys would go with the other.

As the teacher assigned to the boys waited outside the men’s toilet one of the boys came out and told her he couldn’t reach the urinal. Having no choice she went inside and began hoisting up the little boys by their armpits.

As she lifted one she couldn’t help but notice that he was rather heavy, especially for a little kid.

“I guess you must be in the fifth,” she said.

“No ma’am,” he replied, “I’m in the seventh, riding Silver Arrow. But thanks for the lift anyhow.”

The awkward embarrassment the teacher experienced in our story could have been avoided by simply remaining unaware.  The state of being unaware is simple – you don’t know what you don’t know. This can be as described as “ignorance is bliss”.  Bliss is an interesting word with a definition “perfect happiness”.

Opinion alert—It seems like today we have allowed a “snowflake culture” where all they want is bliss 24-7-365.  Well meaning parents that over-provide and over-protect their children have created (unintentionally) a generation of people that want and expect to never be uncomfortable – ever.

Have you noticed all the disruptions in our colleges and universities? They are demanding “safe spaces”. You hear the word safe space and you logically think, ok that’s a good idea –everyone should be physically safe while they attend class. But the safe spaces they are demanding are spaces free from debate and dialogue.

Here is an example from Northern Arizona University– Breanna Kramer asked her president at a forum–“How can you promote safe spaces, if you don’t take action in situations of injustice, such as, last week, when we had the preacher on campus and he was promoting hate speech against marginalized students?

Her school’s president’s reply: “As a university professor, I’m not sure I have any support at all for safe space.  I think that you as a student have to develop the skills to be successful in this world and that we need to provide you with the opportunity for discourse and debate and dialogue and academic inquiry, and I’m not sure that that is correlated with the notion of safe space as I’ve seen that.”

The students want the school’s president to be removed from office for what she said. If this situation wasn’t so sad, it would be extremely funny.

The snowflakes’ pursuit of bliss is based on avoiding all discomfort, when in reality getting good at tolerating discomfort is the only way to be happy. Humans are wired to create and accomplish, without it we are unhappy (not blissful).

Learning to perform with and through discomfort is one of the most important skills you can develop in life and in business; it sounds strange doesn’t it, being comfortable being uncomfortable. I believe that the best things in life are often hard, and if you shy away from difficulty and discomfort (as many snowflakes have) they will miss out on the great things life has in store for them.

Try as you might, you can’t avoid hard. Look at all the things in life that are hard:  Learning is hard. Building something great is hard.  Many jobs are hard. A marriage is hard. Running a company is hard. And what do they have in common?? All are amazing. Sounds like bliss to me.


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