What broke loose in the world? Everything seems to be in flux; but, maybe it’s always been that way and we’re just aware of it now thanks to the Internet. Nah. This time is different, as every time is. Almost all of the change is out of my control. I could try to track every detail, understand every nuance, and anticipate every possibility. And I’m old enough to know better. Sometimes the best approach is to keep doing what I’ve been doing – as long as it seems like a good idea. And sometimes, it just makes sense for the mental equivalent of twiddling my thumbs to keep my mind occupied while the world resolves itself.
I know, I’ll run a civilization! Gamers know what I am talking about. There’s a game called Civilization, aka Civ, also known as an addiction. A successful run at the game can take ten or twenty hours to play. This is not a shoot-em-up, unless you consider the seemingly inevitable global conflicts. Civ is a strategy game where the player starts with a wandering band of settlers who haven’t even developed writing. The player has to build up their country’s size, technology, culture, military, and relationships. The first country to launch a spaceship to Alpha Centauri wins. Finally a game that doesn’t require shooting and subjugation for success; except that is an option too. And success is possible by being the best diplomat, or most advanced culturally, or merely being the biggest in 2050. It takes strategic planning, big and small picture perspectives, and a lot of brain cells. I can dive into a game of Civ and have nothing left over for worries, anxiety attacks, or useless anticipations.
The planet is changing rapidly, and isn’t waiting for us to resolve a debate over the cause. People are implementing solutions are quickly as they can, and trying to make more of the population aware of the situation. Governments are realigning themselves in Scotland, the Ukraine, Syria, and probably a couple dozen other places. The US elections are only weeks away, and while there will be votes, it is hard to tell if there will be change; unfortunately, the lack of change is initiating change in the form of consequences. The economy is improving, at least in sectors; and maybe that’s enough, as I’ve seen many businesses gain traction and earn their owners a living. My business is losing a major client as they conclude their project; yet I hear hints of enticing possibilities that could replace or even improve that revenue stream. Aside from all of that, I’m hearing good news from many of the stocks in my portfolio; particularly, Peter Jungmann’s positivity regarding MVIS. Passive income again? That would be a welcome return.
It is tempting at such times to try to do something for each of the issues, and I do. But, it is also possible to do too much, even though it will have no other effect than to spend time. I live a life with little waste. I use my bicycle more than most. I compost. I won’t list the rest because no one needs to read anyone’s list of what they think they’re doing right. A good rule is that, when in doubt, people are making and acting on their best guess. That’s all any of us do every day.
But sometimes, I must remind myself, there is nothing to be done beyond what I’m already doing. I try to live “right”, at least according to my values and abilities. The forces in play in the world have incredible momentum, and are usually only affected by opposing levels of incredible momentum – though I do enjoy that fact that chaos theory suggests that a small random cause can have an immense effect. The forces in play in my personal finances have far less momentum, and yet are probably equally resilient and sensitive on any given day or night.
So tonight, while I wonder what’s happening with the ice caps, the protests in Hong Kong, the election fodder the politicians will provide for Stewart and Colbert, whether the economy’s recovery is temporarily superficial or permanently superficial, whether my newer clients will ramp up as they’ve suggested, or whether MicroVision and MVIS will finally be proven successes within weeks or days, I guess I’ll have dinner, let the world settle itself without my active interference, and play a game where I try to take over the world – peacefully.