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How to Grow – Part 1

“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” (Yogi Berra)
Growth is a tricky business. While we start with some clear destination fixed in mind like steadfast Polaris, we surely navigate the most circuitous of routes on way to El Dorado or Shangri-La or some other lost horizon. As the journey progresses hidden perils rise up while illusive fortunes descend and we are inevitably turned the other way around. We are in motion as is our world that now calls us out to correct course or settle some other place. This is the pressure point where vision and courage and freedom are required. We must decide in the moments where there is little data on the horizon to guide us and we secretly fear that our provisions and ingenuity will not last the night. Opportunity turns quickly to sour milk or sweet cream. Even celebrated Magellan and da Gama might have opted for a hammock and hot meal if given a second chance. Sextant, compass and map in hand, we maneuver and navigate the furrowed shores of Innovatria – the places where we grow.
It has become common to hear pundits proclaim that now is the greatest period of change in human history. We are to believe that somehow the contemporary life is simply an anomaly in the course of events. Imagine a famer in twelfth century Lyon. His father and his father before were all farmers and so on as far back as anyone can remember. One day, while returning from the Holy Lands unsuspecting crusaders bring the Black Death to his village and every third person perishes within a week. Alternatively, picture the Roman Legion or the Huns or the Ottoman Turks at the city gates and the pending drama. Consider any other dislocating event from antiquity to the line of text currently scrolling along the bottom of a screen and it becomes clear that every age is the greatest age of change. While the rate may increase so do the tools and techniques we now have to capitalize on this naturally occurring generative energy.  We can fear it, avoid it or use it in the employ of our good purpose. While we did not singularly invent this world, we do live here and have good use of it as opportunity provides the prepared.
Jeff DeGraff
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