To look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is to me impossible, … It just strengthens my faith. I wish there were words to describe what it’s like.
– John Glenn (American astronaut and engineer, *1921- ✝︎2016)
We live in a fascinating world – that is what I thought when I was recently watching on my mobile phone via Facebook Live the astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken changing batteries on the International Space Station (ISS), while I was having lunch. They did their work 400 kilometers away from our planet, floating in space, connected to the space station with only a rope like it was an ‘everyday scenario’.
Today, social media makes it possible for more and more people around the clock and around the globe to gain an insight into the achievements of research and technology.
JU’S 3 QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH
1. Will this rapid technical progress lead to an age of liberation and freedom in the future or will these rapid changes destroy the civilization on our planet?
2. There is no doubt that digital revolution will completely transform our lives (education, work, relationships, society). Which skills will be of particular importance for leaders and team members in the future?
3. Astronauts, who were able to see our planet from space, describe it as incredibly beautiful and fragile at the same time. When and where did you already have this feeling of meeting Mother Earth with awe and humility?
🙎🏻♂️Gottried Menschik 🇦🇹 🇩🇪 🇷🇸
Gottfried has a doctorate in economic geography. He studied French and Geography at the University of Vienna. I met him in 1994 at www.bhakwien22.at/bhak/ and since then we have been colleagues (specialist and author colleagues) and friends. Especially Geography connects us as well as our common roots; our mothers are Danube Swabinas and so we both have a migration background.
I admire Gottfried for his large repertoire of talents: whether composing, making music or teaching, whether writing or arguing. It is always an honour for me to work with him 🎩.
🙎🏻♀️Alvina Zimmermann🇦🇺 🇨🇳🇮🇷 🇷🇺🇩🇪
Alvina has a Bachelor of Arts from University of Melbourne and Juris Doctor from University of Melbourne Law School – she is currently working as a Partnerships Specialist for a Mathematics Tech Company. Alvina’s passion is for helping people and discovering creative solutions to problems.
I was introduced to Alvina in Melbourne in 2009 by Kim White.
I admire her for her high intelligence and high spiritual sensibility at the same time, for her gift to be and live ‘love’ and her diverse ethnically background.
🙎🏻♀️Kinga Nemeth 🇭🇺🇦🇹🇩🇪
I know Kinga from the Weekly Long Run https://www.wemove.at/that-happens/weekly-long-run/ – we run and swim occasionally together. Kinga lived for 26 years in a communist system and was active in a tennis club until she was 24 years old. She has a doctorate in Biology and a master’s degree in Bioengineering.
I admire Kinga for her open-mindedness, wisdom, helpfulness, ambition and modesty. I am glad that our common passion for sports turned into an enriching friendship.
🙎🏻♂️Gottried Menschik 🇦🇹 🇩🇪 🇷🇸
Technical progress was, is and will always remain ambivalent. The only liberty, which will exist is the one, that we take for ourselves. But many choose the path of enslavement. Example car: extremely comfortable to get from A to B. The freedom of mobility is to drive someplace, which is usually difficult to reach. For others, the car is their only purpose in life and each little scratch leads to complete despair. Consequently, this person is a slave to his or her fixations. It will be the same with the digital revolution. The digitalization can be on the one hand a tool of liberation, but on the other hand a way into dependence.
Old hierarchical expectations will no longer work. Networks will replace hierarchal structures. In the digital network, everyone will be equal if you know how to use these opportunities. A great disadvantage will be the fading boundaries between work and leisure time, so that completely new problems and challenges will arise. For creative people, this may be an advantage, for others probably not.
There will always be moments, in which you hold your breath and are overwhelmed by the beauty of nature. Spontaneously, there comes an experience in the Romanian Danube Delta to my mind. A landscape so outstandingly beautiful, that one feels like being at the beginning of creation. I went with a ranger on a boat deep into the delta. In a pond he turned off the engine and we found ourselves far away from any civilization in complete . The was filled with the singing of thousands of birds. Even now, when I close my eyes, I can hear the of the world. Every technician, architect, spatial planner should learn about this experience before constructing or planing something into a landscape.
🙎🏻♀️Alvina Zimmermann🇦🇺 🇨🇳🇮🇷 🇷🇺🇩🇪
Whether any form of progress, technical or otherwise, leads to the emancipation of humanity at large or beckons its ultimate demise is always determined by the level of consciousness that underpins such progress.
Humans have an astounding ability to create problems in every circumstance because of a deep unwillingness to accept peace. Just look at our daily lives: if you are unemployed, you have problems, but if you are employed, you may also still have problems. If you are single and unmarried, you may have problems, yet if you are partnered and married, you will still have problems. Perhaps you are poor, so you experience problems because of no money, yet even the rich too experience problems because now they must manage and protect their money.
So, we can see here then that the issue is not the external circumstance, for if that were true, then the moment you change the circumstance, the problem would disappear, but we know that this simply isn’t the case.
In a similar vein, whether rapid technological progress results in liberation or destruction ultimately comes down to the quality of and state of mind of those participating in such progress. If you squeeze an orange, you will always get orange juice, if you squeeze an apple, you will get apple juice. It logically cannot be anything otherwise.
So, if society at large consists of individuals with a mind of peace, wisdom, compassion and integrity, any progress will ultimately be infused by the same quality of mind in which it operates and freedom can be attained.
If society at large consists of individuals with a mind of egoism, stress or greed, then again any progress will ultimately be infused with the same quality of mind in which it operates and destruction is almost assured.
The answer to this question ultimately rests not in the rate of progress itself, but in the constitution of the individuals making such progress possible (which includes every single one of us that consumes technology in some way). Time will fundamentally reveal to us who we truly are.
Without question, the most important skills to develop for all individuals at all times, is wisdom and discernment. We are all leaders within the context of our own lives and team members to our family, friends, and society at large, so we should be keeping in mind that leadership and teamwork are not ideals exclusive in importance to one’s career but apply to every aspect of life. Wisdom and discernment, which means the ability to judge well and make the right decision at any given moment and in every given situation, are golden keys that unlock the doors to limitless good. Especially in a time of great change and upheaval, not just digitally and technologically speaking, the ability to exercise complete, sound judgement and act with clarity will not only afford us the ability to navigate uncertain, uncharted and potentially treacherous terrain with grace, ease and safety, but it will also pave the way for future generations to follow in our footsteps and carry on the legacies that we have left behind.
One cannot truly be a great leader without vision and one cannot truly be a great team member without intelligent participation. Wisdom always gives vision and discernment always allows us to participate in the most integrous way possible.
I have always felt a strong connection with the vast ocean and am always humbled by it’s power, magnificence and resplendence. Just like the tides of the sea, I am always mindful that there is a natural flow and movement to my life, that all is well and that life will take what no longer serves me as the tide draws out, only to replenish me with the new good as the tide comes in. I was very fortunate to grow up in the quiet oceanside capital of Perth, Western Australia. I remember being a small child, maybe around 5 or 6 years old, and my grandfather took me for a day trip to the beach. As I stood before the ocean I was taken aback by how infinite it truly was and for the first time I was deeply connected to this sense of being a small speck in the presence of grand powers of both cleansing and nourishment, the Great Ocean Mother herself. It was also my first memorable experience of true prosperity, experiencing Mother Nature as opulent, divine and all-providing with nothing less than a limitless supply. Whenever I have a moment of feeling slightly overwhelmed or stressed at work or in my daily life, I always draw to mind a mental image of the Great Ocean Mother and in a split second all my burdens are washed away by Her serenity, and for this I am grateful.
🙎🏻♀️Kinga Nemeth 🇭🇺🇦🇹🇩🇪
Albert Einstein, one of the greatest physicians once said: “There is no great development or progress as long as there is still an unhappy child on earth.“ As I am familiar with science, I see innovation more as a blessing rather than a curse. But with every new insight and with every technical or medical progress, the responsibility to use it for the benefit of the whole society, increases. In developed countries you can live almost like in a science fiction film, with self-driving cars, space tourism and cloned pets. Other countries would benefit from the existing possibilities, to improve living conditions, such as nutrition, health care and retirement provisions. Without a balance that involves all countries, there will be no peaceful existence in the long term.
The basic skills of leaders will still remain the same. These are empathy, the ability to inspire others for one’s own aspirations, and the ability to give direction or a path to the final goal. What is new, is that more and more often independent personalities and their abilities need to be involved, and their efficiency and trustworthiness have to be assessed, since the groups that have to be led are and will be structured more variable than in the past. Team members will have more rights but also more responsibility for their own contributions. There will also be less permanent positions and therefore more (creative) confusion.
While running, hiking or walking, there are always moments when I am amazed and I fully admire what I see. How trees continue to live, despite fungal infestation, how insect species find their ecological niche. The shining eyes of the people I meet by chance can also inspire me. I could list many more and long journeys are not necessary for that. I am infinitely grateful for all these moments because they are moments of peace during a hectic day.