Hope, part 2: Hope is our responsibility, not someone else's.

"If Not
Us, Who? If Not Now, When?"
—Rabbi Hillel (Ronald Reagan only
quoted him)



Hope requires faith, and as the Bible says, faith is not
faith if you can see with your eyes what it is you are hoping for.
 But for faith to live, someone's gotta
have hope.



Hope is not wishful thinking.  That's because most wishful thinking is being wistful to a
return to the "good old days" before you lost hope.
  Hope is looking forward.  There are some people doing just that
and that's what we need right now, real leaders with hope.



I've met several over the past few months that are hopeful
about the immediate future.
  People
like former
Synopsys exec Sanjiv Kaul,
 Morgenthaler's Drew Lanza, and two guys forming a huge fund called
NEOS that you will be hearing about over the next year.
  Corporations like nVidia, Virgin, Siemens and  SAP are
launching major investment funds this year and are looking all over the
world.
  Intel announced this week plans
to invest $7 billion in manufacturing.
 
Government trade groups all over Europe are making plans to expand
worldwide.
  This is not wishful
thinking.
  This is hope.



I made a resolution in 2008 to expand my circle; to go
beyond what I knew and who I knew so I could get a different perspective.
  And boy, did my circle expand.  I was swept up a major local political
campaign.
  I started meeting
investors and entrepreneurs from around the world.
  I started getting a bigger picture of what was going on in
the world.
  For a while I tried to
encourage others in my old circle to get their heads off their chests and look
up.
  I wasn't too successful.  I paid a significant financial price in
waiting for a few of them to come around.
  (In fact, all the people getting behind social media -- like me-- are not yet enjoying great success)  The problem was that those old business relationships were waiting for
someone else to make a move before they did.



Then I remembered Ronald Reagan's inaugural address when
he quoted Rabbi Hillel:
  If not us,
who?
  If not now, when?  Hope and faith require an action on our
part.
  When I decided to step out
and do something, I found there were a lot of people out there who wanted to do
something as well.
 



The
horizon is clear and the opportunities are plentiful.
  But not if you sit on your butt and wait for the good old
days to come back.
  There's plenty
of room for the rest of you, but those of us moving forward don't want to hear
why it can't be done.
  We want to
focus on how to get something done.