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With apologies to Uncle Ben

You already know the backstory of Spider-man.

Even if you don’t like superheroes, you know that.

So I’ll take a page from the MCU book and skip it, getting to the good stuff:

I’m not going to say he’s wrong about… you know, his advice. It is useful if you find yourself with power.

But most of us don’t have superpowers, which makes his advice backwards.

Unless he knew Peter was Spider-man, what he should have said was:

“With great responsibility comes great power.”

what do I want to say with that?

Well, take the average idiot like you or me. There is something in the world that really bothers them. I’m sure there is something like that for you, some solvable problem that is ignored, as if it were a symptom of our collective madness.

Let’s say, for them, it’s world hunger. That is something that we could solve if we prioritized it, and that keeps our friendly neighborhood dreamer awake at night.

Then one day, they decide to take charge of it.

But what can they do? They are just one person. They are rich by global standards, but definitely not by their country’s. Certainly not rich enough to feed the world.

And it’s not like they have the ear of kings, CEOs or world leaders.

But they’re not exactly helpless.

They start by raising money for charities. That helps a little, but they know they can do more.

So they work for a charity. Once again, that makes a difference… but not enough.

So they travel to some of the poorest and hungriest parts of the world to help directly.

Every person they help is a life saved. Still, this problem is huge. A person can do a lot of good this way, but it won’t change the system that keeps the problem alive.

They decide to do more.

In their free time – not that they have much of that – they study.

History – to know how the problem arose.

Agriculture: to learn new ways to create nutritious food that saves lives.

Mechanical engineering: to learn how to use what these people have to create what they need.

Economy: to learn what prevents wealth from flowing here.

Influence and persuasion: learn to be heard, not just talk. Persuade those they help to share their ideas and adopt the solutions. Influence the powers that be to support what needs support.

Entrepreneurship and management, because maybe a business is needed to solve these problems.

This person is not learning this for fun. They’re not learning them to impress people at parties or to pad their CVs. They are doing it to end the unnecessary suffering that they see every day.

Which means that they will learn them in depth.

Deep enough to become powerful.

One person can change the world, but the average person cannot. It takes a powerful constellation of abilities and the drive to use them.

You don’t get there by chasing glory, money, or power. Those rewards don’t go to the pure of heart, the strong, the ambitious, or even necessarily the worthy. They go to those who solve real problems.

Unresolved issues.

If you feel powerless right now, and I wouldn’t blame you if you do, that’s how powerful you feel.

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