knoxville daily sun
knoxville news knoxville daily sun lifestyle business knoxville sports travel knoxville classifieds knoxville jobs knoxville legal notices knoxville yellow pages smoky mountains contact facebook twitter linkedin rss entertainment knoxville advertising

Looking Ahead in 2011

By John Disque

Personally, I have learned. I'm ready. I don't want to look back anymore. I know what went wrong. I want to focus all of my energy and thoughts on tomorrow, looking ahead, and leaving yesterday behind. Through all of the garbage, I've seen too many great things and great people. I watched people dig as deep within themselves as they could and with everything they had they stood back up, adapted, and fought for themselves and their families. It's the hard times that expose people's true character.

Of the ones who failed or did nothing, I see one common underlying theme. They talk a lot about the horrors of the past few years and the past decade, but I don't often hear them talking about tomorrow, next year, the next decade. Most of them just stare at me when I ask where they see themselves in 2020. It's a little frightening, so I decided to see if I could get the ball rolling myself.

For most people under fifty the last ten years have been the toughest of their lives. It started out bad and just kept going down hill. You might want to take a few minutes and reflect one last time on all the wars, violence, September 11th, the drug epidemic, the increase in poverty and homelessness, natural disasters, corruption, greed, the widening of the class divide, and the horrible economy. Then, take something. See if you can put some of it together, not to justify anything or to make sense of it but to see what it was preparing you for. Put it behind you and, together, let's see if we can look ahead.

Call me an optimist, but I see great things on the horizon. I know I'm going to make a few enemies with this article because some people are already telling me I'm wrong. Ironically it's the same people who crumbled and did nothing when they were challenged. When they complained about the lack of jobs they didn't attempt to create a job, they didn't start an Internet business, and they didn't do anything. When complaining about the drug problem, they didn't educate their children. When speaking of the homeless, they didn't go down and see what they were talking about. They sat complaining in front of their TVs watching violent movies, WWE, and playing violent video games with their kids. When complaining about the President or politicians, many of them hadn't even voted.

Of the good news, the tourist markets are making a comeback, and the people of East Tennessee will feel the immediate effect. Of the top 10 tourist destinations in America, the Smoky Mountains are 9th. Of the national parks across America, the Smoky Mountains are #1. With tourist dollars comes demand for expansion, new businesses, new jobs, and immediate income funneled directly into the surrounding communities.

There's no doubt that technology will continue to lead the way and set the stage for change. This time it will be more than handheld gizmos and big TVs. New technology will effect all of us in profound ways that we never imagined. While this will continue to squash the manufacturing sector (reduced by 1/3 in the past decade), it will continue to increase productivity and open new doors in many other industries.

More and more, people are finally realizing they're fighting a losing battle, and they're coming aboard. A computer and an Internet connection is now almost a necessity and soon it will be a complete necessity.

While there was a longtime fear that people would be forever trapped inside their own homes, that is no longer the case. All the new technology makes all areas of computer business completely possible almost anywhere on the planet. Now you can work at the beach, coffee shop, at the park or anywhere else. We will one day laugh at the fact that people had to sit behind a desk to get any work done just like people are starting to laugh at the leash of the old landline phones.

Information will take an incredible upward shift. It's just begun, and it's just starting to gain real momentum. Those who don't keep up will continue to be left farther behind. It's nothing but the natural course of evolution or, if you prefer, nature.

With the technology boom came the demand for specialists in everything. With the net came people looking for specialists in all fields. They're not just looking for anyone. They're looking for specialists in the areas that concern them, and they're looking for the best. While adapting your current career to keep up with technology, it's advisable to specialize in as few areas as possible which will create yourself a bigger demand. It's no longer good enough to call yourself a writer when people are looking for "the best mystery writer," just as it's no longer good enough to call yourself a lawyer when people are looking for "the best divorce lawyer."

Some theorists say that the manufacturing jobs were eliminated by the changes in technology, which increased productivity. While we all know that many US companies moved overseas (particularly China) the theory itself becomes a wakeup call.

Slow adaptation into the ever-increasing technology does not help. It's time to face it. Not enough people are evolving. Too many people are living in the past. You are now forced to get up and take action. It doesn't make sense to continue to try to run a landscaping business in the desert.

We should focus on our newer technology industries and new business with more incentives to keep them in America while keeping the ones who turned their back on us from returning. I am convinced that this is the way to learn, heal the damage and move forward.

Already gone:
Typewriters, VCRs, Tape Players

Will Soon be Gone:
Wires and cables
Phone books
Hard copy newspapers
Movie rentals
Landline telephones
Camera film
Hard copy magazines
Move theatres
Manual transmissions
Fax machines
Video cameras

Will eventually be gone:
Telephone wires
Telephone poles
Microwave ovens
Outdoor advertising
Rubber Tires

What will be with us forever?

Published January 1, 2011

Share |

knoxville daily sun Knoxville Daily Sun
2011 Image Builders
User Agreement | Privacy Policy