Despite centuries of knowledge to the contrary, I’ve considered that Aristotle was wrong.
Or that Sir Isaac Newton didn’t know what he was talking about.
And maybe Eucledian geometry had a major flaw.
None of these amazing scientists or their eye-popping equations accounted for one significant variable: life in the 21st century.
We are living in an age of mankind which could not have been predicted, even by the most sophisticated understanding of the world in centuries past.
I can send a real-time message to a friend in India with imperceptible hesitation between communication devices.
I can watch video of the sun rising upon the Australian shore.
I can order a tool, have it manufactured in Germany, and delivered to my doorstep within a week.
I can view the image of an assassination in Turkey and almost instantaneously share my shock and awe with a colleague located only minutes from the dead body.
I can step foot in each of these countries with the push of a button.
When I left my home in Wichita, KS over 20 years ago, I couldn’t have imagined where my life would take me. At that moment, I was headed East, to Lexington, KY, to start anew after the divorce of my parents.
In the subsequent years, I developed a heightened awareness and independence I doubt few expected. Eventually, those traits carried me even further East to Boston when I was 24; an effort to figure out what I would make of my life immediately ensued.
I took my first step on foreign soil in 2005; I had not yet read Thomas Friedman’s 21st Century Economic Bible, “The World is Flat”, but in a cosmic moment of clarity, I inherently knew my life had been forever changed.
At my brother’s behest, I began reading Friedman’s account of how modern life and technologic advances had defied the laws of physics set forth by nature and confirmed by some of the greatest scientists to ever walk the Earth.
Ten years have passed since I finished Friedman’s manifesto. And my thirst for global excursions has yet to be satiated. Each time I have traveled abroad for pleasure was akin to another sliver of my brain being turned on for the first time.
When I lived abroad for two years during medical school, on a small, moderately inhabited island in the Caribbean, I had the opportunity to see how the world could still be flat, in ways Friedman never expounded upon.
The simplicity, beauty, and innocence of Dominica were unmistakeable at times. But in the next instant, I’d be immersed in the medical knowledge accumulated over the course of millions of hours of scientific discovery. The juxtaposition was remarkable.
I readily acknowledge: I have lived a charmed life; one full of opportunities I have been thankful for; as well as those I’ve created for myself.
Each success has been no small feat. Many were met with significant resistance. Some with initial failure.
But I have been persistent. Persistent in my desire to prove Friedman correct. Persistent in my desire to meld the scientific truths of Aristotle, Newton, and Euclid with the economic realities of modern life.
The World is Flat.