It's easy to overlook an enemy that lurks within us all.  Here's what I mean.

I sent this item yesterday via Twitter

RT: @harryallen: What Cld It'd Do 4 Africa. RT @PopSciGuy: Solar Collectors over 0.3% of Sahara Could Power All Europe

Got this response from a friend:

Doesn't matter when 7 of the top 10 earning bussinesses [sic] are oil companies.

My response:

No, it does matter. It's easy to be cynical, but the kernel of the idea is good. It CLD do a lot for Africa. Takers, anyone?

Their response:

I got five on it, but do you think OPEC's gonna let that side? i can be cynical at times but this is reality.

Here’s my point: Cynicism is a very real enemy of progress, and we have to guard against it vigilantly.  You’ve heard it before: The world-weary “It can’t be done.” Or, like the above: “. .. .this is reality.” 

The reality for whom?  All real progress starts as an idea somewhere that someone tries to shoot down.  But somewhere else, there’s somebody who's passionate about an idea and willing to see it through to the end. Happens all the time.  Just think of what people told the Wright Brothers. Or Ghandi, who took on the British Empire.

I’m not suggesting that we live in a fantasy world.  It’s imperative be realistic about the challenges that lie ahead, particularly when you’re working to realize your dream.  There’s huge value in reality checks.  One of my favorite authors, John C. Maxwell talks about this.  A useful habit to develop is to always talk in terms of solutions. Given reality A, here’s how we can get this thing done.  Otherwise, dreams die where they stand.  The status quo, the big corporations, the people with all the money and the access—they win.  They win because the so-called progressives among us—the dreamers, the entrepreneurs–just gave up and went home, burdened under the weight of reality without a counterbalanced solution.

So.  Don't be cynical.

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