Trends are something that is difficult to create, they just happen. And you don’t know why, they usually start in the same places. San Francisco is one of them. Living here for 17 days is enough to understand why many of the revolutions that shake the world take place in the bay area. It’s just that there is so much talent, so much creativity and so much time invested in changing the world. When you join atitude, aptitude and work, the mix can only be success.
This is not a perfect place. It has some downfalls. There are more than 6.000 homeless in San Francisco. When you live here, you get used to cross some words with them. It’s simple; they ask you for money, and you usually say no and keep walking. But this week, as dreamers that we are, we have learned that we have to look where nobody looks, trying to find what others take for granted. So some of the dreamers had the experience of being homeless for one night. Can you imagine sleeping on the streets?
I was not there, but it moved me. The worst part of this experience was not being alone in the street, or the frozen wind of the ocean. It was the cold touch of the exclusion, and the sensation that everyone asked them to go somewhere else to sleep. Some of the other homeless confessed that they are used to sleep two hours until somebody (normally the police) ask them to move away. They are the nomads of the 21st century. And the worst part is not that they have lost everything (even their mental health), it’s that they have lost hope. They think that nobody can solve their problem.
But there is hope. I have hope. Few days later we visited a Palo Alto school. And I saw the future of this country written in a wall. They were just some pictures, sometimes quotes, but I would love that every single kid would read them from time to time. Here you have some of them:
“If you´re going to be passionate about something, be passionate about learning. If you´re going to fight something, fight for those in need. If you´re going to question something, question authority. If you´re going to lose something, lose your inhibitions. If you´re going to gain something, gain respect and comfidence. And if you are going to hate something, hate the false idea that you are not capable of your dreams”
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”
“It´s not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences”
“Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes”
“Think globally, act locally”
“Get involved: the world is run by those who show up”
“You will never regret doing the right thing”
“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional”
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading”
I have never seen a wall with the future of a nation painted on it. Looking at this wall I could see where this country wants to go. It’s clear that it is not a perfect society, but at least I can see the values that they are living in. It is terrible to compare it with Spain. Luckily some of us are here to get inspired and take action to change it.
In fact, it is quite simple: Work hard, don’t be afraid to take risks, and respect the ones who are different. These days I have observed that life here takes place sooner: the activity starts at 7 Am and ends up at 10Pm. It is like if they were anxious to start doing things early in the morning, and at night they are so tired that they are looking forward to going to bed. Maybe that’s why they are ahead of other countries. We should look at ourselves and see what are they doing right as a country.
However, I maintain that the same things that give them advantage in productivity, give us advantage in creativity. I am really comfident in us as a creative leaders. Our history, our climate, our cultural background give us the opportunity of having a more relaxed lifestyle, and that forsters creativity. I can not think about a poet, a painter, a designer or a dreamer, working crazy from 8Am to 8Pm in New York city. Creativity needs space to be calmed and think about what needs to be created. And that takes time. Time that Americans dont have, because they are too busy doing things, or making money.
That’s why I think that Imagine makes so much sense. It’s a declaration of us as a country. It’s taking the suitcase and going to the highest hill in the world to say: Hey, Spain wants to be the leader in creativity! We are not afraid of showing it to you!
The 27th we have a date. We have a chance. We have an opportunity to change the world.
Let’s Imagine that we make it.