Of course, no one wants to see the world going through all of this trauma, nor frankly even their next door neighbor. And so, whether it is a mortgage foreclosure, an automobile repossession, a lost job, a generation that seems to be literally dropping out of high-school, or a nation 9,000 miles away that is fighting for its democracy and freedom. That said, I am not really surprised by most anything (save say the Japanese earthquake and tsunami) we are seeing today.
Most of it I speak about in a piece I wrote in 2009, entitled The World on RESET, which I wrote around and based on the release of my Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business book LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass).
In short, the world we were all living in and seemingly enjoying a mere 5 or so years ago really was not real. And how did Bernie Madoff get away with the brash ripoff of the century that he engineered? Well, in some ways we participated in it, so it was easy. Read the "We All Did A Madoff" pieces I did alternatively for the Washington Post, and a seperate one I did for The Huffington Post promoting my friend Matthew Bishop's book "The Road From Ruin."
To quote one of my political and public service heroes, President Bill Clinton, "it is hard to get people to agree with the truth when the lie is paying their paycheck." More truthful and wise words have seldom ever been said.
We all did a Madoff, and did not know how we were going to pay the debt off. Just living for the moment. Living in fear, instead of love. Living about me, and not about we. Living to get paid, or rich, and not to build wealth.
In late, long lunch, leave early, is many of our generation's motto. We all just want to have fun "and chill," but last time I checked, Love Is Work.
Today, most governments in the world are technically broke. In fact, the majority of states in the United States — the richest country in the world — are also techically broke. All of us are living beyond our means, and worse of all, we have not wanted to deal with it. Just kicking the can down the road, and "we can deal with it later" has been our motto. Well, now…is later friends.
We are now dealing in a "Reset" world, with all of the variables and elements associated with this environment. In this environment, the worse thing one can do is to avoid or be traumatized by "change." We must embrace it.
I will be writing more about this in the weeks to come, framing out a broad and specific vision around "A World on Reset," but for now, think about this please:
People do not tend to change in good times, they change most in bad times.
People and society does not tend to change when they are comfortable, but rather when they are uncomfortable.
No one grows without legitimate suffering. Suffering, for the good.
Remember, "you cannot have a rainbow, without a storm first."
John Hope Bryant is founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, bestselling author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and a member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for President Barack Obama