I admit it – I’m a book junkie. I’m totally addicted to reading – and can almost always be found at night with a copy of the latest book that’s caught my attention (recently it was The Hunger Games … seriously, can’t wait for the movie!)
I’ve heard a lot of buzz about a book called “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” by Katherine Boo, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist who has written an amazing story about life in the slums of Mumbai. Boo’s book is maddening, frustrating, enlightening and beautiful in its own way – and I found myself caught up in a powerful characterization – the “infrastructure of opportunity” available to people in the developing world.
The infrastructure of opportunity. The infrastructure of opportunity. I love these words – they resonate powerfully, because the imagery of solidly built systems that make life “click” and provide a pathway to seize opportunity resonates and forces me into some healthy introspection.
So … I’m challenging myself – and challenging you – to think about this concept in three ways:
– Professionally. What kind of pathways am I creating to connect a great business idea with a sponsor who has the budget to make that happen? Do I have bridges and connections with the right people who can support me/mentor me/challenge me to take the next step in my career? How do I create opportunities for others and help them build infrastructure to support achievement of their business goals?
– Personally. How many times have I “seen” opportunity and ignored the path in front of me to get there? Whether I’m trying to run that ever-elusive marathon (and NOT signing up for training like I should) or trying to get more involved with Autism Speaks (one of my passions), defining a pathway and looking at it as a process of building will help me turn my inertia into action.
– As a citizen of the world. I’m not sure it’s possible to read this book and not be motivated to take action to do something, anything, to help improve the lives of the people living in such a different reality than the world I know that I take for granted. I’m not sure how to go about supporting the building of a different infrastructure, but if there was ever a call to action to make a change, this is it.