Here’s a meandering musing that came to me during one of my usually long, boring commutes for work.
How many potential Einsteins are now dead due to conflict in Syria or Yemen or Libya? If given an opportunity and a chance, they could have made great contributions to society? I use Einstein as an obvious placeholder to signify that, but it doesn’t have to be science-related or even on a genius level.
Or, how many potential Einsteins are languishing in impoverished conditions in a developing country? Again, unable to access the foothold needed to climb out? To get an education and to contribute to human flourishing and progress?
Or, how many potential Einsteins are standing behind a counter at a McDonald’s in Detroit, languishing? Unrealized potential? A missed opportunity? One never given?
Every single year, the intangible, the non-quantifiable goes silently into the dawn or into the night, the world never knowing what it lost. Human capital, that’s what. Human potential. Human contributions. But for a variety of reasons, chief among them poverty, lack of education, disease and violence, that potential is negated. Or in some places, women, for instance, are considered second-class citizens, so they languish.
It boggles the mind when you consider what we lose as a species every year. Most certainly, we gain a lot from a variety of smart individuals throughout the world contributing to our progress, but just imagine how much more we could gain?
Or less dire, but still significant: I wonder how much human capital is lost to people just not willing to engage the thicket that is government red tape and bureaucracy. Regulations that pound potential entrepreneurs and innovators and creative minds out of the game. What new ideas, products and applications to make our lives better are we losing to that? Whether in a democratic society like the United States or in dictatorships, of course?
Makes me think at least and I thought it’d be a befitting mind quandary to offer as my 800th blog post. Thanks to anyone that takes the time to read my meandering musings.