Cycles and Hope

This is a fun chart. It’s makes for a great conversation piece at any party where wine is served and the conversation gets past small talk to topics like religion, politics, and the meaning of life. Yes, I know, I’m a thrill a minute for a party, aren’t I?

It’s fun to sit around and argue for where a nation is on the circle. Of course, where a nation is in reality has consequences, apart from making great conversation at a dinner party.

It is certainly better, in the moment, to be on the right side of the cycle, rather than the left. However, it’s a cycle — those on the right will end up on the left and vice versa.

I think the importance of the circle is that no one civilization is unique — every civilization that has ever existed has gone through some variation of this cycle. In a way, it is similar to how an individual human life goes — we start off dependent on others for our survival and, should we reach old age, we will be dependent on others again for our survival. There are no exceptions.

It’s a similar to the life cycle of an organization — typically, organizations start off lean and entrepreneurial and outward focused. As they age, they become more established, take less risks and turn inward in focus.

For me, what this means is that placing our hope in a nation, or a civilization, or an organization is having a false hope. We aren’t going to live forever. No nation lives forever — they all fall apart or change or are conquered eventually — all of them. Organizations are going to disappear. Change is the only constant.

For me, my hope is in God. I’ve got no where else to go. And anywhere else has been lacking.

Where do you place your hope?

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