What Kind of Optimist Are You?

I always encourage lifelong learning, but now is absolutely the time to stretch out of our comfort zone to embrace the possibilities that this time of change presents. Stepping into change stems from hope….

When you see spontaneous social protests erupting from Tunisia to Tel Aviv to Wall Street, it’s clear that something is happening globally that needs defining. There are two unified theories out there that intrigue me. One says this is the start of “The Great Disruption.” The other says that this is all part of “The Big Shift.” You decide.

Paul Gilding, the Australian environmentalist and author of the book “The Great Disruption,” argues that these demonstrations are a sign that the current growth-obsessed capitalist system is reaching its financial and ecological limits. “I look at the world as an integrated system, so I don’t see these protests, or the debt crisis, or inequality, or the economy, or the climate going weird, in isolation — I see our system in the painful process of breaking down,” which is what he means by the Great Disruption, said Gilding. “Our system of economic growth, of ineffective democracy, of overloading planet earth — our system — is eating itself alive. Occupy Wall Street is like the kid in the fairy story saying what everyone knows but is afraid to say: the emperor has no clothes. The system is broken. Think about the promise of global market capitalism. If we let the system work, if we let the rich get richer, if we let corporations focus on profit, if we let pollution go unpriced and unchecked, then we will all be better off. It may not be equally distributed, but the poor will get less poor, those who work hard will get jobs, those who study hard will get better jobs and we’ll have enough wealth to fix the environment.

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Ethically Right?

Knight Kiplinger of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance was queried in the October issue about the decision of a guy who accepted a job offer, was trained and became part of his team, only to quit when he received a better, higher paying job offer a month into his new job. Kiplinger said this was unethical and that the fellow should have told the company who offered him the higher paying ‘dream job’ that he was honored but unable to accept the position because he had started in his new job already. I’m curious what readers, both job seekers and those who have or do hire candidates, would think and do in this situation given the economic situation of the day. Hiring is a tricky business. Sometimes hiring managers aren’t able to move as quickly as they want to and a candidate ‘gets away’ before they can make their offer. This leaves… Read More