Norton: We live in an increasingly small world full of huge opportunities (column)
As the internet and easily accessible travel options continue to make us feel like the world is getting smaller all the time, we have to remember that famous quote by Steven Wright, “It may be a small world, but I wouldn’t want to paint it.”
The obvious answer to that is because it is still an enormous world we live in, and with that comes enormous opportunities for each one of us — opportunities to experience new cultures and people, a chance to get actively involved in our communities, assist with projects and experience adventures throughout our country and to engage with people and organizations all over the world.
And I am not just talking about the huge opportunities to volunteer or help in any way that we can, although those are highly recommended and a great way to give and receive. What I am talking about is all of the opportunities to step out and enjoy this ever-shrinking planet.
Just think about the vision of Walt Disney back when he first designed Disney World. Think about the ride and the song “It’s a Small World” and the lyrics of that song. “It’s a world of laughter and a world of tears/ it’s a world of hope and a world of fears/ There’s so much that we share that it’s time we’re aware/ It’s a small world after all.”
And then the next part of the song, “There is just one moon and one golden sun/ and a smile means friendship to everyone/ Though the mountains divide, and the oceans are wide/ It’s a small world after all.”
When Walt Disney created Disneyland, there was no internet, there was limited technology, and travel was a bit harder than it is today, assuming you do not take the security system and lines at any airport these days into account.
And he saw it as a small world then, and it is indeed an even smaller world today.
The person who meets someone they haven’t seen in 38 years because they connected on Facebook.
The family living in two different countries being reunited through the ease of, and access to, a family ancestry app. The flight that used to take eight or 10 hours now could take fewer than four or six hours. The ability to Facetime or video call any one of our family, friends or customers anywhere on the planet used to be something that we would see in science fiction, and now it is an everyday occurrence.
It’s such a small world, isn’t it? It’s a small word, yet a giant world with enormous opportunities everywhere. Somehow, some of us have developed a fear of that great big world out there.
We have developed a fear of other people and other countries. We have become suspect and have started looking and waiting for the bad things to happen.
The fact is, most of what we fear and worry about has little merit. The world is filled with much more opportunity, adventure and amazing experiences than anything worth worrying about or holding us back from enjoying this great big world and from finding opportunities to go places and experience things we once only dreamed of.
OK. So maybe just one more plug for doing something bigger and better for the world, whether it is locally or globally.
When you think about this small world with huge opportunities, listen to the song by Jana Stanfield, “All the Good.” In her song, she sings, “I can’t do all the good that the world needs/ but the world needs all the good I can do.” There are huge opportunities in a small world, in a small country, in a small state, in a small town and all getting smaller by the day.
So how about you? Have you had some of the small-world experiences yourself? Are you experiencing some of the huge opportunities the world has to offer? As always, I would love to hear your story at firstname.lastname@example.org, and when we can experience and enjoy both the small world and the enormous opportunities waiting for us, it really will be a better-than-good week.
Michael Norton is the president of the Zig Ziglar Corporate Training Solutions Team, a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.
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