Israel and America appear haunted by a sense of despair. The nations are locked in domestic and international political battles exacerbated by tensions between the religious and open society proponents. As Rabbi Jonathan Sachs put it, "We live in an era of intense social discord and distrust ... cancellation or ostracism." The rabbi asks the quintessential question: "How do we heal our fractured world?"
First, learn to think differently. Business schools and executive development programs incorporate psychology courses to stimulate contagious positive energy. Harvard University had us examine challenges with a positive mental attitude to welcome the fast pace of change.
Israel's business and military complexes focus on the positive, on the miracles in our midst. Author and social anthropologist Avi Jorisch discerns from his studies that Jewish prophetic tradition creates a remarkable culture of innovation. Israel's sobriquet, "The Start-Up Nation," is called an economic miracle by those who coined the term. Solving the world's most formidable problems by innovating "on agriculture, medicine, water, and defense ... making life better for billions of people around the world."
Second, ignore the bearer of bad news. Sages consider that person a fool. Negativity feeds into the stewpot of emotions fomenting hate and vengeance. The third change you can make if you want to have hope for our children and the future of the Earth is to read works by Avi Jorisch. His writing is smart, factual, refreshing, and uplifting.
Jorisch studies current trends and accomplishments. He talks of solutions being explored now as to how "human beings can exert (and are exerting) significant control over what happens to our species and our planet, and that our future is better than most of us think."
His new book, Next: A Brief History of the Future, reports on "thirteen game-changing innovations that are poised to transform our species from a society of takers to a society of givers." Innovators are finding solutions to hunger, pollution, and global warming by mobilizing our remarkable abundance and wealth, in a way greater and more democratic, in this writer's opinion, than at any other time in human history.
For context, first read about the storied life of Hans Rosling in Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think. Rosling explains how our worldview has been distorted. He identifies ten human instincts that cause erroneous thinking. Rosling and Jorisch make the case that we can learn to separate fact from fiction when forming our opinions.
The vast majority of people around the world are living middle-class life. Jorisch's March 2023 Jerusalem Post article contains ten graphs and charts demonstrating human progress in living standards, health status, social services, and technology. According to Rosling and others note, our lives improve regularly from generation to generation. Concerning a majority of people:
- They are not impoverished and suffering.
- Their boys and girls go to school.
- Their children get vaccinated.
- They live in two-child families.
- They want to go abroad on holiday, not as refugees.
Step by step, year by year, the world is improving.(This was Rabbi Kook's thesis as well, ed.)
We might add that opportunities for success are greater for people of most races and religions, both sexes, and most childhood class stations in life. In Next, Jorisch does a cursory review of the writings of futurists. He focuses on the moon-shot landing as the "greatest mobilization of resources and manpower in human history," which ought to be a lesson for us. We need "moon shot thinking" to overcome our current challenges.
I sent off a note to my cyber-infatuated grandson about investigating Singularity University, which Jorisch discusses at length. What this writer finds remarkable about the case reports Jorisch describes is that the innovators are all self-made people; they are unique and outstanding only in that they recognize a problem a spend their waking moments — and their dreams — finding solutions.
There is the space program yielding untold advances for human existence. Russia and America launched the space race, and now multitudes of countries and private companies are engaged. "Today, there are more than 50.1 billion devices online worldwide, used by half of the world's population[.] ... The new space economy is the catalyst that will fundamentally transform life on Earth."
Other case reports cover The Internet Academy and new means of learning, improving shelter, water resources, and health through advances in blood and genetic editing. Prosperity is in the offing for food security, electricity engineering, and more.
One more thought about the author: Jorisch brings a spirit and sense of spirituality to his work. I described his fifth book, Thou Shalt Innovate, as a "bouquet of life enhancing and life-saving innovations flowing from Israel." Many already knew the stories of the Start-Up Nation. "But Jorisch finds spiritual meaning or 'higher purpose,' as a secular man prefers, in them." Jorisch finds an eternal message in the innovations that benefit humankind. No story is more impactful and inspiring than the 24 pages about the man who empowers girls and women through sanitary blood maintenance. He is changing the life and spirit of a generation.
Jorisch is a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council and a prolific lecturer and writer whose books and articles have appeared in a plethora of languages. Everything he writes is documented and presented with extraordinary clarity and simplicity. Next flows easily because the stories are about the people he features "working to make the world a better place ... and dreaming big enough" to make it happen." Next includes 34 pages of end notes to each chapter and a 37-page bibliography.
I tell the story in my review of Rosling's book about one of my children. He is a graduate of a prestigious university who told me, "My head can't handle all the facts and commentaries from pundits, and they don't seem to care when their facts are wrong. It's all mind-numbing and paralytic." I gave him Thou Shalt Innovate to read. Now I will encourage him and others to buy Next: A Brief History of the Future.
Dr. Harold Goldmeiermanages an investment company and writes for financial companies about business, social, and political issues. He is a free public speaker for community groups and consults on matters of commerce and industry. He can be reached at [email protected].