Enlightened Conflict

value ourselves as more than just an image

March 2nd, 2017

 

a-better-reality-false-hope

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“At the end of the day, we have to value ourselves as more than just an image.

 

 An image is just an image.

If you want more, look deeper within.

 

Are you a good friend? A kind companion?

How do you treat others?

 

Those are the things that are a better definition of beauty.’

 

—-

Sara Ramirez

 

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I imagine all of us want to be seen by everyone as ‘something.’

 

they must be giants fake lies right lifeTo me … this ‘something’ isn’t famous or with some high falutin’ title or rich … but rather be recognized characteristically as something.

And not something shallow … but something a little deeper that defines you.

 

I say that but reality is that the driving ‘something’ for us is far too often fairly innocuous … and, yeah, it will vary from person to person … but a shitload of us want to be seen as smart, or well rounded, or beautiful, or funny, or … well … pick your personal poison.

I could suggest that is kind of a shallow something.

Okay.

I will.

That is a shallow ‘something.’

 

And what makes that shallow worse is that by making that a fairly significant portion of how we choose to define ourselves we spend an inordinate amount of time & energy planning for ‘someday’ when that ‘something’ is played back to us as our defining characteristic.

uhm what did you say really

Uhm.

 

Well.

 

If you are not careful … someday stealthily sneaks up on you as ‘today … and then yesterday … and then day by day it just becomes your Life.

 

Unfortunately Life is not just an image.

Unfortunately Life is ultimately not that shallow.

 

Unfortunately you have to leave the shallow end of the pool at some point and venture into the deep end in order to find … well … value.

 

Despite what marketing & advertising & branding folk may suggest … image is not everything and image does not equal any meaningful value.

 

Image without substance is simply a façade … a mask.

And I can unequivocally state that the number of people who can maintain an entire life behind a mask is minuscule.it is extremely difficult to maintain that façade for an entire Life. It is like trying to play out an act … forever. Someone can do it for a while and fewer can figure out how to build the trappings which can hold the act together … but to hold all of that together for a Lifetime takes some luck, some clever skills, some bravado to appease the cynics & skeptics and, ultimately, some ability to keep the lack of substance out of the spotlight & questioning.

Suffice it to say … it takes a lot of work to wear a mask an entire Life.

 

intent help flaws self bestAnd maybe that is my larger point.

 

We all want to eventually be seen as ‘something.’

 

And we all would prefer that something be of value to those who recognize it and of value to our self-worth.

 

That means.

If you are not careful you can spend a significant portion of your Life chasing some definition … some ‘something’ you are recognized by … that has little or no real value to oneself.

 

By the way. I am not suggesting this is easy. Society encourages shallowness. It can do so in a variety of ways but the main way is simple – measurement.

The shallowest ‘somethings’ are easy to see, easy to assess and easy to measure versus either society standards or versus others.

 

The deepest ‘somethings’ … good, soul, character, integrity … shit like that … are difficult to measure and, frankly, the definition is earned over time and with consistent behavior. You cannot expect instant gratification … at least external gratification … if you pursue a ‘deeper something.’

 

Sigh.

 

Well.

 

Here is what I know:

 

“At the end of the day, we have to value ourselves as more than just an image.

 An image is just an image.

If you want more, look deeper within.

 

Image is just an image.

 

How about this.

 

Image is like masturbation.

 

A deeper something is like making love.hard to planyou are more

 

I tend to believe we all want more.

 

We all want that kind of self-value that is deeper.

We all want more than just an image.

 

It is a Life truth that Image is seductive.

 

The good news?

It is a Life truth that if you want more than image, and look deeper within for that ‘something’, you will find a better definition of yourself.

In this time, at this place, I will be defined

February 17th, 2017

 stand for what is right i will be defined now

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“I endure.”

 

Lockhart

 

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“What we do in life will echo in eternity.”

 

Maximus (in Gladiator)

 

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There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

 

Shakespeare

 

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“The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

 

Howard Zinn

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So.

 

This topic has been on my mind for a while but I hadn’t figured out how to talk future-universe-view-space-open-thinkingabout it without being apocalyptic or overly dramatic.

 

I know it has been on my mind since Trump entered into our lives <when is the last time you had a conversation where he wasn’t mentioned?> and lately I have found myself placing tags on my posts like “enlightened reading” or “enlightened thinking” or “enlightened politics” or … well … I guess I have been thinking about enlightened a lot. But this doesn’t feel like an ‘enlightened issue.’

 

And then I had lunch with a good friend the other day and out of the blue he says “this feels like one of those times when years from now people will be asking you what you were doing … or not doing.”

 

Yeah.

 

It does.

 

This does feel like “a moment in the tide in the affairs of man.”

 

This does feel like a moment in which people will define themselves.

 

 

It does certainly feel like a time of angst. An ‘apocalypse’?  Certainly not.

 

Unrest and uneasiness and uncertainty? Absolutely yes.

take a stand america define

And, frankly, in times like these it is tempting to sit back … maybe, to be harsh, be lazy and fall back on our opinions and “what we believe” and mumble to ourselves, maybe bitch with our friends or just remain silent.

 

But this seems to be more a time … uhm … no … this is “a time” more than ever to … well … be defined.

 

Look around if you don’t believe me.

 

You can see it if you look hard enough that a shitload of people feel the same thing. You may get confused in thinking it is “whining democrats because they lost” or “establishment people afraid of losing their gravy train” or even simply “people afraid of change.”

 

It’s more than, and less than, that.

 

It’s the tide in the affairs of man.

 

And, yes, we can blame Trump for this defining moment time. But he is less relevant in this tide than you may think. He is simply riding the tide … and we are the many drops of water within the tide … the ebbs and flows and crests and furrows are ours to build and destroy.

 

Take note of what is happening.

People feel this is a defining moment.

 

I don’t care if it is Hannity who has attached himself to Trump to rise and fall with the man himself <and not an ideology>. He is all in.

 

never be silent stand up i will be definedI don’t care if it is Jake Tapper on CNN who appears to be attaching himself to truth & facts. He is all in.

 

I don’t care if it is Meryl Streep who has attached herself to celebrity moral authority. She is all in.

 

I don’t care if it is the millions who walked in a women’s march without any real reason other than it felt like they should. They want to be all in <on something>.

 

I don’t care if it is someone who fills out petitions and sends $5 to whatever organization possible. That person is all in on something.

 

I don’t care if it is a white nationalist who now attaches their feelings to real words said in public or statement clothing. That person is all in.

 

I don’t care if it is someone who has their senators on speed dial and calls them every morning during their commute to just leave a message with whatever is on their mind. That person is all in.

 

I don’t care if it is someone who attaches themselves to ‘deplorable’ without really knowing what embracing deplorable really means other than it permits them to make a statement. That person is all in.

 

I don’t care if it is someone like me … someone who hasn’t given a rat’s ass about politics up until now … who now writes pieces, posts almost every day and emails writings & thoughts to different people … from Mark Cuban to John Lewis to John Kasich … The National Review to The Guardian to CNN … hoping that someone somewhere will affect this tide of affairs of man.

 

I tend to believe we all feel the tide of affairs shifting.

And as we feel it a range of emotions surges … some excited riding the tide and many many others desperately, and helplessly, feeling like they are fighting a tide they don’t like or do not understand <and this where we see some angry people … as they feel helpless struggling in this tide of affairs>.

 

This is a defining moment.

 

And I think we all know that this moment is different.  In the past, maybe without truly consciously thinking about it, we recognize most moments actually create their definition … because, for the most part, they are all about creating something from nothing.

 

That is different than this moment.

 

In this moment, in this time and place, something is happening of which we have to create nothing … but rather shape it. And, in doing this shaping, we are actually building something within the moments we elect to stand up and define ourselves … well … building “us” … okay … maybe it is building “me or I.”

 

This moment is different because it demands that we take a whole bunch of seemingly meaningless little moments … almost unrecognizable … that have got us to where we are attitudinally, intellectually and physically … and stop and speak out in some way that will be meaningful to us for the rest of our lives.

 

And.

In this moment … I would suggest that this is not the time to define yourself by standing against something but rather standing up & for something. This is not the moment to be “anti” something but rather “pro” something.  ‘Anti’ suggests you can turn, or stem, the tide of affairs when the reality of ‘affairs of men’ would most likely suggest a tide is a tide and affairs will be affairs and by being ‘pro’ it may be possible to show which harbor the tide should enter. Don’t define by what you are against … define by what you are for.

 

That said.

now or_never_web_design_grandeI could suggest that for many of us this is a “now or never” time.

 

 

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“Sometimes there is no next time, no time-outs, no second chances; sometimes it’s now or never.”

Alan Bennett

 

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In the general tide of affairs of men there often seems to be unending line of second chances standing outside your door.

And then in the tide there comes a time when … well … you look outside one morning and all those second chances are gone to Starbucks.

 

Just gone.

 

And you are alone.

 

And you can’t play the next time card or ask the next second chance to come on in. or say … uhm … can you wait a minute? <until one of the second chances comes back from the bathroom>

 

Nope.

 

It’s now or never.

 

Life is looking right at people … right at you & me … and saying … ‘okay, what’s your call?’

speak the truth i will be defined stand up

And this is actually your judgment call and no one else’s.

 

This is your defining moment and your decision.

 

Life is not going to help you out on this one … Life isn’t going to lean in and whisper in your ear … “hey, just so you know, this is one of those no time out, no second chance, no next time moments.”

 

That is my job today.

 

My job today is to tell you what I believe is the truth … that while Life is typically extremely generous in giving time outs and second chances … this feels like a ‘now or never moment’.

 

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“attack everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.”

 

Douglas Adams

 

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This is a daunting feeling.

 

Because while you may actually have done a gazillion things in your Life to prepare yourself for this ‘now or never moment’ … I seriously doubt anyone feels competent for this moment. It is slightly daunting to think this is a ‘now or never’ moment which will live with us for years to come.

 

Yeah.

It certainly feels slightly daunting to think that what you do will define you … for eternity.good people defined losses victories

 

Yeah.

 

On top of uncertainty or excitement or helplessness or a feeling of freedom to do & say what you have always wanted to do & say you are being asked to choose how you want to be defined.

 

The kind of thought that makes us think about choices and what we elect to do … because … well .., what we do echoes in eternity.

 

The Gladiator quote was perfect … it suggests that the way we live … and what we choose to do … not only affects our present … but also determines our eternity.

He suggests what we do in the present will affect not who we are and what will happen but also our future … beyond death.

 

He suggests that you … well … matter.

 

That your thoughts matter.

That your choices matter.

That your actions matter.

 

And not only within this moment.

But in the moments which end up in eternity.

 

Your life matters. What you do is up to you, but your life matters to the degree that you choose it to matter. Life means something … especially if you defiantly define who and what you are.

defy word defiance

Defiance is not easy.

 

It is much much easier to not push back, to not push yourself forward, but go along for the ride … wishing it were better than it seems to be.

 

 

Defiance is a choice.

 

And, I would remind everyone, that choice defines destiny … not chance.

 

If you are defiant, and push back, you are more likely to control the destiny of … well … your definition and how you will be defined.

 

And that is what today’s world feel like. a moment to be defined. A moment to be defiant with regard to who you are, what you believe and what you stand for.

It feels like you cannot be silent … and you have to choose.

 

Now.

I purposefully have tied “I will be defined” with an attitude … one of defiance.

I do so because of … well … Trump.

He has far too often been called a ‘disruptor.’ In businesses a disruptor is not one who creates & encourages chaos but rather one who ‘overturns conventional wisdom’ to take what exists and reshape it into a new way of doing things. A true disruptor envisions what can be <let’s call this ‘a plan’> and dismantles only that which encumbers in the here & now to enable the “what will be.” In the business world Trump is more often called ‘an agent of chaos.’ He is one of those managers who cannot tell the difference between chaos & doing — they are of equal in his mind. He holds up doing as proof of his value. A true disruptor holds up ‘what can be’ as proof of value.   Calling him a disruptor is an insult to the true disruptors.

 

This means, even more than ever, those who choose to stand in this time & place and define themselves will have to be defiant.

 

Defiance is standing still, standing strong, speaking out … amidst chaos.

This will not be about the one, or ones, who speak the loudest but the ones who speak the smartest and steadfastly. This will be about the ones who defiantly stand in the face of chaos and stubbornly defend what they believe and what is right.

And, in doing so, the country will be defined by who and what we coalesce around. The fragments <which are what some people will call “divisions”> will cluster until the cluster of that which is the country itself has spoken and defined itself. As a country … it is false to suggest we are divided … we are fragmented. There is a huge difference between those two thoughts. And it is actually within that difference in which Hope for something better resides.

 

Yes.

In this time, at this place, I do believe this country will be defined. And it will be defined by those who not just endure the moment, the tide of affairs of man, but rather the ones who stand up and say “this is how we will endure.”

 

You may be angry, you may feel helpless, you may feel excited … but whatever you feel it is because you are caught up in a unique tide in the affairs of man … i will be defined stand up speak outand you will be defined not because you endured but rather by how you endured.

 

My friend was right. This is a “moment.”

 

We will look back in time at this ‘moment’ and you will be defined by what you did do … or didn’t do.

 

Me? I have made my decision. In this time, at this place, I will be defined.

 

saying goodbye to project global generation

December 27th, 2016

gg thinker and girl

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“ I always thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself.”

 

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Dead Poets Society

——

 

“Teach me how to gracefully let go of things not meant for me.”

 

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via lilac-veinss

 

—————

 

 

Well.

 

I am saying goodbye to my project global generation education idea.

 

Project Global Generation was my global gg access tech_growthtechnology based education idea.

 

It pains me to do so as I view what is happening with regard to education and technology.

But it has been 6 years since I built out the program and initiative and shared it online and it has gone nowhere.

 

I still believe it is a good idea. No. A great idea to enhance education at younger age levels globally.

 

More often than not when technology & education is discussed it refers to university level. I do not. And I have not. My initiative has always resided at the K through 12 level.

 

<although … awhile back one of the people in my LinkedIn network recently attended a conference on technology, start ups and education which discussed investment in K-12 innovation and VC’s: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/heres-what-we-told-world-leaders-edtech-betsy-elizabeth-corcoran >

 

 

Now.

 

Before anyone completely freaks out, while I do believe classrooms will need to change shape <almost everyone agrees the common set up is less than optimal>, I do believe there will be a human teacher for a long time yet and in my initiative idea I created a concept in which the best teachers could have student access globally … anywhere <implementation and costs  >

 

But.

Something needs to change <and charter schools and privatization are simply band aids on an old wound>.

 

Worldwide, 250 million children do not have even basic numeracy and literacy skills. In some rural parts of the world only one in five children aged 10 and 11, who should have spent five years in school, have achieved minimum learning standards.

My idea can help solve that.

 

In addition, one reason why so many children spend time in school without progressing is overly ambitious and inflexible curriculum. Education interventions aimed at basic literacy and numeracy skills for children who have fallen behind curricular expectations show that they can improve rapidly with the right support.

My idea can help solve that.

 

In many countries, the best teachers often cannot help the students who need them the most holding back children’s learning.

My idea can solve that.

 

In many cases learning is less than optimal because we do not provide learning resources to help children progress at an appropriate pace. Learning materials will only be effective if they are accessible to children, are pitched at the right level and in the right language, and teachers are trained to use them. A computer-based tool in India that tailored learning materials according to children’s current learning levels increased test scores in mathematics for the average child, to exceed 69% of children in the comparison group.

My idea can help solve that.gg thinking beyond-the-box

 

Lastly.

 

It is clear that education systems require urgent reform.

My idea can help do that.

 

Online education has made incredible strides.

And it certainly hasn’t reached a point where it can completely replace physical teaching. Human beings are able to pick up on a multitude of contextual clues from students to determine and respond to the emotional states. Technology can’t detect emotional states, let alone adapt its behavior to cater accordingly.

But we would be foolish to believe that ability is not beyond the scope of what technology will be capable of at some point.

 

Anyway.

I am certainly not the only one with this vision of a technology based education platform.

 

A guy, Steve Vosloo, significantly smarter than I and in the education business has written some fabulous pieces associated with the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with regard to the future of technology based education:

 

—–

“UNESCO studies have shown that the use of a SMS phone can help them [children in developing countries] onto the first rung of Digital Literacy by learning to read and write their first words, and subsequently creating the desire to attend school.”

 

http://edutechdebate.org/2014-ict4edu-trends/6-emerging-trends-in-education-and-mobile-learning/

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All that said.

As I say goodbye to Project Global Generation I admitI have always wanted to leave a Legacy. One which may appear to be a pretty “big hairy audacious goal”.

 

Encouraging an optimistic global generation of children having a respect for the environment and others and, ultimately, are individually and globally responsible.

 

I want to develop a children’s education global initiative that can grow the roots for a positive responsible global generation. I want to attack ignorance as if it is the enemy.

And I built it.

 

Soup to nuts I built out the concept <I have the entire table of contents below>.

 

And, suffice it to say, I believe there is a confluence of factors that make this concept a possibility. It is an idea that’s time has come. Surely, the most critical factor to this concept is the evolution of internet usage and global access.

GG platform benefitsIn addition, I thought the idea would always contribute to my larger overarching objective of Enlightened Conflict.

 

Why did I believe Enlightened Conflict an important objective?

Let’s assume Conflict will always exist – between countries, religious beliefs, ideologies, the haves and the have nots, etc. We appear to have a unique opportunity to insure conflict can be managed to some extent. Enlightening a generation to the risks of conflict without respect <the reverse would be encouraging positive conflict or conflict with rules>.

 

If we don’t attempt to place the underpinnings on the foundation of the global generation, then we risk the global house falling when they reach an age where they can dictate the outcome of whatever conflicts across the globe may be happening at that time. No one can doubt that there will be crises and conflict this generation will deal with. And none of us can imagine what they will be. But we should bear a responsibility for preparing them. And an internet education platform offers an opportunity to create a global community thread that in the end could spare us from the direst outcomes from future conflict.

 

Am I seeking a global socialism or global “mind”? Absolutely not.

In fact I would encourage embracing local culture customs but within this infrastructure of common respect. I hesitate to use the word values because so often it has religious aspects. But if I could use it without the religious attachment it is very appropriate. I do not believe we will have a global religion but I do believe we can have global respect.

I call this objective “The Global Generation and Owning a Contradiction: Community Individualism” and it was at the core of the think biggerconcept.

 

I have always believed to make this idea be its most effective, the concept has to embrace the contradiction. Community, a pluralism type idea, and Individuality of choice, a strength in “one” to make a difference type idea. Therefore this concept needs to enhance the sense of global community and encourage local individual choice to encourage belief that a global community is actually made from the strength of individual choices <and the global community respects local choices as long as it stays within an overall respect for life & environment construct>.

 

I have always believed, all the other aspects created equal, the strength of this concept lies within the circular strength of the global/local relationship.

 

Regardless.

 

I have thought out tactics, implementation and strategy. And while this is an expansive concept I didn’t want this program and creating “global balanced respect” to be so pie in the sky and “high road” it was unrealistic. Yet I also don’t want it to be so watered down children won’t be able to see the high road if they are capable of taking it. What I mean by “high road” is while a child in Siberia or the Congo is focused on having food on the table, they truly have dreams of an education to be able to be one of those people they see on TV or hear on radio. It is difficult for a “have” to totally understand a “have not” unless you have been in their shoes.

 

I believe if we build a platform that shows kids the only difference between them is actually the having or not having, it helps a lot. And then if we seek to make education <or maybe cornerstone “conflict” knowledge points> attainable for all globally that helps everyone get off on the right foot, which is where I believe it all begins.

 

So what makes this so less pie in the sky is “creating a positive global imprint for environment and individual respect” is a fairly easy concept to grasp.

 

Ok.

 

Regardless of all the big conceptual ideas I glossed over <but do have detailed thought for> the tactic plan of action is attainable. If you would like to see click here: project global generation.

 

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“The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.”

 

Sir Winston Churchill

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I am interested in helping be a builder of this next empire. I would drop anything I was doing to do this. So contact me if you want to hire me to make this idea happen.

 

Bruce McTague

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Here is the table of contents for all the pieces I have written from the original concept idea to specific costs and implementation tactics:

 

education civilization

–          About Project Global Generation

The welcome to the site and why I created this idea/initiative.

 

–          Table of contents and summary

If you read only one thing this would be it.  Right here (this post is the contents/summary).  A cliff notes version of everything you can find on the site.

 

–          1. global generation: dawn of enlightened individuality (the global generation)

using a variety of sources I outline what I believe the generation after the Millennials, called The Global Generation, will look like attitudinally and how they ‘fit’ in the cycle of generations.

 

–          1a. The global generation student: about their abilities & attitude

using a Fischler study and the Singapore Ministry of Education I try and overcome some misperceptions about the abilities and attitudes of a younger generation of students

 

–          2. global generation: a look at millennials (and why they are not the global generation)

in this post I take a deeper dive into why I believe the Millennials will end up facilitating the Global Generation opportunity and not be the generation that will impact education & enlightened conflict directly. 

 

–          3. global generation: sociology & the internet platform

there are some inherent sociological benefits to a we based education initiative and in this post I outline them.

 

–          4. global generation: developing critical thinking skills

in this post I outline how the Global generation, facilitated by a web based program, will be the greatest critical thinking generation we have seen.

 

–          5. global generation: education messaging underpinnings

in this article I outline the specifics of what makes up the educational aspects (and what does not).

 

–          6. global generation: learning by lurking

in addition to the sociological benefits as outlined in GG 3 we have seen some possible improvements a web based model can offer to learning/education.

 

–          7. global generation: tactics & implementation

after outlining the thinking behind the initiative in this post I outline the specific tactics & costs.

 

–          8. global generation: the role of the web (versus existing education systems)

in this post I outline the benefits of using a web based model for education trying to explain why flipping the existing education model is better and more practical for the future generations 

 

–          global generation 9: measuring the initiative impact (attitudinally and global attendance)

now that I have outlined the thinking behind the program, the specific tactics & costs to implement I suggest measurement objectives and will also using the most recent UNESCO global education report I outline how the initiative will assist in reaching the UN Millennium goals.

 

–          10. global generation: more on impact – conflict & enlightenment

Using an article from The Economist I outline how the initiative impacts value systems

 

–          11. global generation: implementing a conflict prevention program

I compare the initiative against other existing global initiatives to outline how this initiative will be more effective than most other programs because it affects ongoing behavior as a ‘preventative’ initiative rather than a ‘intervention’ type program

 

–          12. global generation: not too close a link to human rights

I outline my thoughts that this initiative is an education program and not a Human rights program and part of its challenge is to not judge different cultural/governmental/religious systems but rather through education there is a high potential for a stronger tolerance of different views as the generation moves into adulthood.

 

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Well.goodbye hand

 

Today I write about Project Global Generation for the last time.

 

Sometimes you just have to let go of things … even if you think the ‘thing’ is worthwhile and worth fighting for.

 

If no one else sees the same value you do … well … as I have written a zillion times before … sometimes you just gotta let go and move on.

 

Project Global Generation is officially signing off. Farewell my friend.

 

Enlightened Conflict