I’m reminiscing about the Greek Mythology story where in the island of Samos in the Acarian Sea, a story unfolds. Particularly, this is the story of Icarus, who succumbs to the frailty of his own arrogance. Both he and his father have been banished and incarcerated on an island in the Acarian Sea for his father’s working to sabotage the king of Minos’s sovereignty. In devising an escape plan, for him and his son Icarus, Daedelous architects a set of wings for each of them. They are meticulously made of feathers, sealed together with wax. Excited as they are about ready to cast their brilliant plan for flight and rise above the island, Daedelous carefully warns his son not to fly too high. Later, while in flight, Icarus, enamored by the son’s becoming brilliance, he flies higher and higher still until the wax melts, feathers give way, and Icarus tumbles to his death in the sea.
Famous tribal thinker and blogger, Seth Godin, postulates that the concern today in the United States of America isn’t necessarily the thirst to fly too close to the sun, but rather the settlement of living too close to the Earth’s ground. Is it possible that the next generation of Americans will not set their sights too high but rather, too low, where the threatening moisture of the sea below could have destroyed the wings just as equally, had Icarus flown too low instead? All around us, you hear the media clamor about the “Fiscal Cliff” and sequestration, a basic ubiquitous sense of entitlement and the lack of inspiration to rise above for achievement. How does this square or contrast with the individual whose creativity, adventurous spirit, and meritorious efforts which would be necessary to think and be different and do something truly extraordinary. True, such thinking is no guarantee of such success. Still, we must consider our heritage – Franklin, Edison, Carnegie, and Gates. Innovation and entrepreneurship are what has always been the springboard upon which America has fueled a brighter future. The revival of the American sprit to have the audacity to think and believe big and as Steve Jobs is noted to have said, setting no limits but rather to “think different.” Such an outlier belief, uncommon in the American citizenry today, I believe must be revived, as it will be the best assurance of creating a revival of this nation’s heritage and toward a pathway for future prosperity for which my generation can collectively be proud and the next generation will be thankful to receive.