The Mind of The Global Nomad
I want to talk about a trend I’ve been noticing for the past few years and it is this phenomenon of people moving from country to country for various reasons. For many, it’s because they’re searching for better economic opportunities whilefor others, thereasons are more personal, i.e. they want to be closer to family members, to their cultural roots, etc, etc…
However, with all these physical movements, there is also another phenomenon occurring that I’ve been noticing for a while and it is that the world is just becoming a much smaller place, thanks to more sophisticated mediums of communication like mobile phones, the internet and even the frequency of flying. So, with these things in place, is physically moving all that important anymore? because what I’m beginning to notice is that unless you’re inheriting money or a business from your parents, physically moving won’t fundamentally alter your economic situation and why is this? It’s because when you move, you may be changing physical locations, but ultimately, you are moving with the same brain and knowledge that you had before and if that hasn’t changed, neither will your financial situation.
The second part comes (again) from the twitter people I follow and a lot of them just happen to be “tech” people (well…at least that’s what they call themselves) and quite a few bankers all of whom are based in Kenya and every time I read their tweets, it hits me that these people seem to be very confined (intellectually) to their physical environments and I can’t quite figure out why this is.
Why, if you have access to the internet, a mobile phone and everything else… would you confine a product you are making or developing just to the Kenyan market when, with the technology that exists today, you could literally sell it to anyone in the world (if it can be used by anyone in the world).
So, basically, the main point of this jingled article is this: In today’s modern era, physical location is becoming almost mute. What is more important is the location of your “mind” — i.e. where it is and what is stored in it (because if you have specific knowledge today, you can sell your services to anyone in the world. You no longer have to live in a particular country to do it).
Then, with this in mind, let’s look at a hypothetical scenario here:
You are a Kenyan living in either America or Europe and you decide to move back to Kenya. Now, America and Europe combined, have about 63% of the world’s wealth (see this post on global wealth distribution). Africa (the entire continent) has about 1% of the world’s wealth. Asia Pacific has about 22% of the world’s wealth. So, if your mind has the knowledge within it, why (if you have no inheritance and/or no political connections in Kenya) why would you chose to move to a place that has so much less of the world’s wealth? Could one reason be that you’re still thinking that physical location matters more than “mental” location?
On the opposite end, if you are based in Kenya, why confine your sales just to that country? The only reason you’d do that is because your “mind” doesn’t recognize that another world beyond your borders exists. Why is it that I’ve been able to hire software engineers from India, buy goods from a guy in Poland, but would find it difficult to do with someone from Kenya? Is it because their minds are confined only to the Kenyan market?
** On another note – I was listening to that midget MP Samuel Mbugua the other day and he epitomized everything about a confined mind that I’ve been trying to talk about here. As soon as this guy opens his mouth, you can tell that his entire world is Kamkunji and he’s a relatively young guy so this is shocking.
I can say the same thing about another relatively young guy — William Ruto. He thinks he speaks well, but if you look at the way he behaves, his mind is confined to his “village” in Eldoret. It’s a tribal mind and that’s why he’s gotten caught up in this ICC stuff. William Ruto does not have a “global” mind and it’s really too bad because he’s not an old guy from pre-colonial Kenya, but his outlook of the world is not “modern”.
In some ways it can be very scary to accept this idea because we all like to think that change can miraculously come from a one step change process when in many cases, it never does.
So, where is your mind? and what’s in it?