A few months ago, Tom Friedman published a great article entitled It’s Morning in India. This is an insightful article which I can’t recommend too highly. Tom’s bottom line is as follows:
Yes, when America lapses into a bad mood, everyone notices. After asking for an explanation of the Tea Party’s politics, Gupta remarked: “We have moved away from a politics of grievance to a politics of aspiration. Where is the American dream? Where is the optimism?”
Having just come back from a two-week Cutter gig in India, Tom’s wisdom resonates with me big time. I was impressed no end with the economical virtuous cycle I witnessed in India. Lower income tiers are being brought into the overall prosperity there. The rise in their purchase power creates demand for products and services. This demand leads to incorporation of additional lower income tiers in the prosperity, and so on and so forth. You really need to experience it to believe it.
On the way back from India I spoke with a friendly Emirates steward who protested in person in Tahrir Square. The man was radiating with enthusiasm and optimism, believing with every cell of his body we are experiencing the dawn of a new and potentially wonderful era for the Arab world. I could not help feeling that in his own way he was expressing the kind of great empowerment that truly successful Agile teams experience. I would have hired him to be a Scrum Master for me in a heartbeat.
Arriving at San Francisco International on Saturday, I was twice challenged (in a nice way) about my coming back to the US through San Francisco, not through Dallas (I live in Austin, TX). My explanation that the reason for choosing this route was starting another Cutter gig in San Francisco on Monday was accepted without any problem. Yet, I can’t recall ever before being asked about my choice of port of entry to the US.
I have no doubt the good folks who challenged me about returning to the US via San Francisco were genuinely concerned about my safety, the safety of fellow travelers and safety in the US in general. Yet, I could not help feeling it’s afternoon in America…
It actually was an afternoon – my plane landed at 2PM. Was it possibly an omen?