Skilled workers of every age have prized their tools. I recently visited a Museum of Natural History and was amazed at the craftsmanship and precision of the sextants and chronometers that allowed explorers to map our world in the 18th and 19th centuries. Such tools must have cost many years' wages for the average person! I was reminded of how my Grandfather prized and cared for the tools he used on his farm. I vividly remember his showing me how to work a haybaler or oil the harness for his team of horses, tools from an age that is long-gone. But it brings up the question: What are the tools for our age, and what are the skills we will need to keep them "sharp" and useful? I suggest the following tools for your 21st Century Toolbox:
1. Extreme Self-Care: Just like early explorers took extraordinary measures to protect their compass and sextant, keeping them in beautifully finished wooden boxes, so in tomorrow's world we will need to be well-oiled, rested, polished and precisely balanced.
2. Response-Ability: In an earlier generation, a farmer could experiment with new crops or buy a "new-fangled" tractor over a period of several years. In the 21st Century, change will occur daily, and the ability to respond instantly will be the difference between success and total "crop failure."
3. Resource Management: In the 1930's the American Dust-bowl disaster was caused by a belief that the land was endless and resources were boundless, so farmers destroyed the sod, laid bare the land, and the wind simply blew it away. In the next century, the most successful will be those who manage their resources and have the most efficient reserves of creativity, time, space and energy.
4. Character: My great-uncle was known for the beautiful walking sticks he made by hand, carving them during the long winter months. Each one was unique and they have become family heirlooms. In the 21st century we won't leave our mark on wood or stone nearly as often as we will leave our mark on the memories of those who buy our products and services. But I expect the quality of our character will show through just as clearly as the marks he carved into those sticks testify to his patience, strength and dignity.
5. Fence Mending: Robert Frost wrote a poem about "mending wall", and said, "good fences make good neighbors". For a thousand generations, that meant piling rock upon rock, or stretching wire from post to post. In the 21st century, the principle remains the same. Boundaries, roles and responsibilities must be agreed upon, be clearly marked and be maintained.
6. Simplicity: I once heard that until the end of World War II, it was rare for any human being to eat anything that was not raised and harvested within 25 miles of them. Ask anyone who lived through the Depression if they remember the miracle of an orange, brought by special shipment all the way from Florida, as a Christmas treat. It happened once a year! In the 21st Century, those who achieve extraordinary success will be those who, in the midst of clutter and chaos, choose to simplify their lives, focus on their priorities, and pursue their goals.
7. Insatiable Curiosity: Something drove explorers to risk falling off the edge of a "flat earth". The "Mountain Men" (and women) explored the American frontier, and every child asks, "Where do babies come from?" or the eternal, basic question, "Why?" Curiosity will remain an essential tool for the new age. It will drive some to look, listen, experiment and learn new skills, while others will quickly be left behind.
8. Risk Management: This is a 20th century term for an ancient principle: Those who are too timid, get left behind, while those who are too impulsive, usually die young. In the 21st century, we will rarely face risks that are life-threatening, but those with the ability to accurately assess the risks and potential rewards in a new situation will flourish, while those who blindly resist change or blindly run after every new fad will quickly fail.
9. Contextual Creativity: My grandfather had no use for "modern art". He scoffed at the luxury of throwing paint at a canvas or using "gutter language" in poetry. For him creativity was grafting a branch from a pear tree onto an apple tree, and art meant growing more wheat per acre than any other farmer in the county. In the 21st Century, the most valued creators will remain those who can work with what lies at hand, and fashion something new and useful from what others have discarded as old, familiar and useless.
10. Lofty Aspirations: In every age, ambition counts for something. During the Depression, there was no more devastating allegation than that someone was "lazy." I remember my Grandmother scoffing that a neighbor "will never amount to nothing, he doesn't expect to!" Perhaps, in the new century, the most important of all tools will be the expectation that we can succeed, that we can contribute, that we can make a difference. Past generations expected life to be difficult, but they also expected to endure and overcome, and that expectation was tangible, it was as real as spring after the winter, and it kept them going. Aspiration is a powerful tool!
Whatever items you choose for your personal toolbox, choose wisely! To make a living and provide value to those around us, requires the ability to start with a vision, blend it with skill, and produce a result that has value in the real world. Almost always, whether it's the artist's paintbrush or the surgeon's scalpel, that means using tools. Please consider these ten for your toolbox!
Exclusive: Donald Tusk says it would still be better for both sides if UK stayed in EU
Brexit has been âone of the most spectacular mistakesâ in the history of the EU and followed a campaign marked by âan unprecedented readiness to lieâ, Donald Tusk has said.
In his first interview since standing down as European council president last week, Tusk said Brexit was âthe most painful and saddest experienceâ of his five years in office, a tumultuous period marked by the Greek eurozone crisis, bitter rows over migration and the election of Donald Trump.
Number of cases reported so far this year is three times higher than at same stage in 2018
The worldwide surge in deadly measles outbreaks is showing no sign of abating, with nearly 10 million cases and 142,000 deaths last year, according to new estimates, and three times more cases reported so far this year than at the same stage in 2018.
Most of those dying are small children, and thousands more suffer harm including pneumonia and brain damage. New scientific evidence shows survivors are at greater risk soon afterwards because their immune system is impaired.
Quoting from the Declaration of Independence and the founding fathers about the danger of a president one day betraying the countryâs trust to foreign powers, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, announced on Thursday that she was directing the judiciary committee to draft articles of impeachment against Donald Trump.
âThe president leaves us no choice but to act,â Pelosi said. âSadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment.â
Transport workers bring country to standstill amid anger over pension changes
More than 800,000 people have marched in cities across France as railway workers, teachers and hospital staff held one of the biggest public sector strikes in decades against Emmanuel Macronâs plans to overhaul the pension system.
A nationwide transport strike brought much of France to a standstill and was expected to continue for the next few days as unions dug in, saying the presidentâs pension changes would force millions of people to work longer or receive lower payments.
Woman left with 70% burns in latest attack as film directorâs tweets on rape cause outcry
An Indian woman has been set on fire on her way to a court hearing to testify against two men who had allegedly raped her.
The 23-year-old is in a critical condition in hospital with 70% burns after she was set upon by five men in the city of Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. They dragged her to a field, doused her with petrol and set her alight.
âI do think itâs absurd that critical transport mass-transit systems should be capable of being put out of actions by strikes, and other countries around the world have minimum service requirements for public transport â and thatâs what I want to see,â said Johnson in front of an audience of textile workers near Matlock in Derbyshire.
Regional body describes âmaliciousâ steps to rig October election in report, including use of a hidden computer server
The Organization of American States (OAS) has described âdeliberateâ and âmaliciousâ steps to rig Boliviaâs October election in favor of the then president, Evo Morales, who was forced to resign amid widespread protests in the Andean nation.
A nearly 100-page report by the OAS described several violations, including the use of a hidden computer server designed to tilt the vote toward Morales.
Organisers of competition students travelled to attend demand their return to Nigeria
The organisers of an international student sports competition have called for two Nigerian table tennis players to be returned to their own country after Croatian police wrongly deported them to a Bosnian refugee camp.
Abia Uchenna Alexandro and Eboh Kenneth Chinedu, students at the Federal University of Technology Owerri in Nigeria, arrived in Zagreb on 12 November, on their way to participate in the fifth World InterUniversities Championships, held this year in Pula, Croatia.
Study expands on archive finds revealed in 2011, and suggests that the French state may have abetted the 1960 car crash that killed him
Sixty years after the French Nobel laureate Albert Camus died in a car crash at the age of 46, a new book is arguing that he was assassinated by KGB spies in retaliation for his anti-Soviet rhetoric.
Italian author Giovanni Catelli first aired his theory in 2011, writing in the newspaper Corriere della Sera that he had discovered remarks in the diary of the celebrated Czech poet and translator Jan ZĂĄbrana that suggested Camusâs death had not been an accident. Now Catelli has expanded on his research in a book titled The Death of Camus.
A mile east of the LuĂs I Bridge in the middle of a residential neighbourhood in Porto, Portugalâs second city, sits a bleak and decaying building.
Initially a three-storey car park, then a thriving shopping centre, the building has more recently suffered from years of neglect. Its walls are sprayed with graffiti and plastered with stickers, and the windows are blacked out.
Prague has long an uneasy relationship with monuments to its history â but 30 years since the fall of the communist regime, that could be about to change
I used to think the saddest place in Prague was a prospect high above the Vltava River. It is a peaceful though somewhat neglected spot, buttressed by granite ramparts covered with graffiti and popular with families out for a stroll, skateboarders, joggers and tourists taking selfies against the backdrop of the city. At its centre is a gently mounded plateau, empty except for a giant metronome, soon to be taken down.
The area has no name on current maps of Prague, but it was once known, in popular parlance, as âU Stalinaâ â Stalinâs place. In 1955, two years after the Soviet dictatorâs death, a massive 50-foot high granite monument to him was unveiled on this spot, the largest representation of Stalin in the world. Commissioned in the late 1940s when Czechoslovakia was being turned into a Soviet satellite state, and already under construction as Stalin lay dying, the monstrous memorial remained in place until 1962 when, in the spirit of de-Stalinisation, it was blown to smithereens by the same regime that erected it.
Cities around the world are scaling up their use of surveillance cameras and facial recognition systems â but which ones are watching their citizens most closely?
Qiu Rui, a policeman in Chongqing, was on duty this summer when he received an alert from a facial recognition system at a local square. There was a high probability a man caught on camera was a suspect in a 2002 murder case, the system told him.
The depth, breadth and intrusiveness of China's mass surveillance may be unprecedented in modern history
It was wrong of PM to rapidly call for tougher sentencing for terrorists, says Labour leader
Jeremy Corbyn has accused the prime minister of politicising the death of London Bridge terror attack victim Jack Merritt by talking too soon about tougher sentencing for terrorists.
The Labour leader, who revealed he spoke to Merrittâs father, Dave, in the days after the student was killed, criticised Johnson for making a glut of statements about strengthening the law in the immediate aftermath of the atrocity.
Audrey Mash developed severe hypothermia while hiking in Catalan Pyrenees in freezing weather
Doctors in Barcelona have managed to revive a British woman who had a six-hour cardiac arrest after developing hypothermia while hiking in the Catalan Pyrenees in freezing weather last month.
Audrey Mash said she was surprised at the attention her case had attracted and said it had not put her off hiking. âI feel like a fraud for not being back at work. Iâm hoping to go back before the end of next week,â she said on Thursday.
Broker Jefferies politely called the SFOâs probe âa new overhang on Glencore sharesâ. The existing overhangs are inquiries by the US Department for Justice and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission into activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Venezuela and Nigeria. Thatâs quite a collection of serious regulatory bodies taking a look.
The former secretary of state under Obama said Bidenâs âdecency and the experiences that he brings to the table are critical to the momentâ
Help us cover the critical issues of 2020. Consider making a contribution
Representative Collin Peterson, one of two House Democrats to vote against the measure formalizing procedures for the impeachment inquiry, dodged a question about whether he intends to vote in favor of the forthcoming articles of impeachment, but his response indicates hesitation at the very least.
Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, the other Democrat who also opposed the inquiry, said this when I asked if he'd vote to impeach: "I don't have an idea what they're doing." And he walked on the floor.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi has pressed ahead with impeachment, saying: âThe President leaves us no choice but to act âŠ Our democracy is what is at stake.â The stakes could not be higher: has the US constitution, the basis of US democracy, been violated by Donald Trump? If so, can both the constitution and the president survive?
In a fractured, poisonous political climate, the Guardian will steer an independent, fact-based path through the impeachment hearings. The need for rigorous, robust reporting has never been greater.
Rushan Abbas says countries doing business with China are enabling its mass detention of 3 million people, including her sister
A leading Uighur activist, Rushan Abbas, has urged Australian MPs to take a stronger stance against the Chinese regime, while backing controversial comparisons between the stateâs authoritarianism and Nazi Germany.
Abbas, who met with MPs in Canberra on Thursday and held a roundtable at the US Embassy on the plight of the Uighur Muslim minority in western Chinaâs Xinjiang province, said that âmodern dayâ concentration camps holding as many as 3 million Uighurs were a case of âhistory repeating itselfâ.
Wind gusts of up to 80km/h in NSW and temperatures 12C above average in Queensland predicted to fan fires
Thousands of firefighters across New South Wales and Queensland have had another long night battling dozens of fires, with conditions on Friday expected to worsen.
NSW was told to expect wind gusts of 80km/h and high temperatures, and Queensland will likely see temperatures about 12C above average over the next two days, surpassing 40C in the Lockyer Valley and Ipswich.
The suffering of people wounded in conflict zones is being compounded by what doctors say are âhorrifying levelsâ of antibiotic resistance
When Jihad Nasser arrived at al-Awda trauma clinic in Gaza, he was hoping doctors could finally stop his pain. A gunshot wound in his right leg had not been not healing properly. The news, however, was bad.
The complex bone fracture he had suffered was badly infected with MRSA. Doctors told him it would not respond to treatment and they would need to amputate.
Increase in violent conflict combined with effects of climate crisis make outlook bleak for worldâs poorest people, says report
Attacks on healthcare workers have reached a record high according to a UN report that predicts a âbleak outlookâ for the worldâs poorest people due to intense armed conflict and the climate emergency.
The number of highly violent conflicts has risen to 41, from 36 in 2018, causing deaths, injuries, significant displacement and hunger, the UNâs global humanitarian overview 2020 report found.
Whatever the outcome of this general election, leaders should rise to the ambition of our own and global commitments, write representatives of 49 organisations
The UK has a well-earned reputation for being a key player on the global stage â respected for our record on international development, climate change, and humanitarian aid.
By 2020, this country will have helped vaccinate 76 million children, saving 1.4 million lives from preventable diseases. The UK has already helped 57 million people to cope with the effects of climate change over the last eight years and is on track to reach 60 million people with clean water by 2020. About 32 million people have been supported with humanitarian assistance in the face of conflict and disasters, including at least 10 million women and girls.
Japanese prime minister among those to pay tribute after Tetsu Nakamura is killed in deadly ambush on car
The head of a Japanese aid agency and five other people have been killed in an ambush in eastern Afghanistan
Among the victims was Tetsu Nakamura, 73, the respected physician and head of Peace Japan Medical Services, who had recently been granted honorary Afghan citizenship for his decades of humanitarian work in the country.
Squabbling, a spreading focus and Trump raise doubts about the effectiveness of the alliance
Seventy years after Nato was founded to protect western Europe from Joseph Stalinâs Soviet Union, the military alliance returned this week to its first home in London to discuss an increasingly sprawling set of goals while bickering leaders competed to see who could offer the most contentious soundbite.
Normally this is an arena that would be dominated by Donald Trump, although this time he was somewhat upstaged by Emmanuel Macron, whose pre-summit declaration that the organisation had become âbrain deadâ obliged Trump to describe his French counterpartâs comments as âvery, very nastyâ.
New Zealandâs political system relies on an untraceable flow of donations from rich individuals with personal agendas. That wonât change
The press release was triumphant. The justice minister, Andrew Little, announced that the government was banning foreign political donations, a move that would âprotect New Zealand from foreign interference in our electionsâ.
This is a good thing. Across the Tasman, Australian politics has been roiled by allegations of Chinese interference. One donor, Huang Xiangmo, who had donated at least A$2.7m to both major parties, had his residency cancelled when his connections to Chinese Communist party-linked organisations were exposed. More recently Bond-esque revelations, including a Chinese defector, a dead businessman and a million-dollar donation, have emerged. Given that Australia is facing such a severe challenge to its democratic integrity, the attention Little is giving to this issue should be welcomed.
The US Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has announced the House will proceed with articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. 'The president leaves us no choice but to act,' she said. 'Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment.'
The Christmas tree at the Tennessee aquarium is being powered by an unusual renewable energy source â an electric eel. Miguel Wattson is the resident eel and through a special system that connects his tank to a nearby tree, the natural shocks he produces when he is looking for food or when he is excited, is being channelled to power fairy lights
Republican representative Matt Gaetz fiercely criticised the Stanford law school professor Pamela Karlan for a pun during the second round of the Trump impeachment hearings.
The Democrats' witness and impeachment expert had said: 'While the president can name his son Barron, he canât make him a baron.' She later apologised for her comment, which Melania Trump highlighted in a tweet
Donald Trump has cut short his attendance at the Nato summit in London and accused Justin Trudeau of being 'two-faced' after the Canadian leader was heard apparently mocking the president's predilection for long, impromptu press conferences at a Nato reception at Buckingham Palace. 'He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top,' Trudeau could be heard saying, as other world leaders laughed. Boris Johnson, one of those present, denied they had been joking about Trump
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