Wednesday, December 2, 2009

World War II- A Thought On Fear

I’ve been slowly watching World War II in HD over the past week. Its World War II told through the diaries of individuals who were there as well as original video. I am surprised that almost all of the video was shot in color. If you haven’t seen it then I highly recommend it.

I’m always fascinated listening to veterans talk about the war. They see things that men shouldn’t see and go through trials that many of us have never and will never experience. I’ve seen it said throughout the years that after World War II and many other post war economies experience a period of rapid growth after war. I thought about this fact as I watched the program and I developed a theory.

After these men almost lose their lives I imagine that their fear of going bankrupt or taking up a particular vocation to please their parents goes out the door. They come home and decide to just follow their dreams. When we stare death in the face we are suddenly faced with the truth that life is short, it’s fragile, and it’s special. These men see their friends and brothers stripped of their dreams and hopes. War is a magnifying glass of that realization.

And what’s amazing is that when you have a country where the citizens collectively pursue their passions, the country as a whole improves. There are many better ways both morally and more efficiently to increase the economy, but still I browsed Wikipedia’s list of companies started in 1946. This list isn’t comprehensive, but if you follow by year more companies were started right after the war ended (late 1945) then before the war (1940) and the number declines in years afterward. Great ideas are out there, but individuals are held back by a fear of failure. These men when faced with the reality of death realized that the fear of failure was far inferior.

I don’t have a great idea yet, but maybe you do. If you have one then I encourage you to pursue it. Take a note from our great grandfathers who pushed this country forward and take action. The great successes of our generation will be marked by those who took a risk and jumped. Our generation is a generation of dreamers and hopefully it won’t take a war for us to take action.

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