The Thirteen and The One


As of this writing, the situation in Ukraine is fluid at best.  Many see the Ukrainian people as heroes winning against all odds.  Other pundits predict they will be overwhelmed in the near future.  History suggests the later is a premature prognosis.

In the 1940’s European resistance played a major role in the defeat of the Nazi Germany during World War II.  Later, the Vietnamese were able to overcome both France and the United States.  Afghanistan routed the Soviet Union and the United States.  However, the ultimate (modern era) David vs Goliath model lies elsewhere.

During the 1770s Great Britain was the most powerful nation in the western world.  A rag tag band of farmers, frontiersmen,  city dwellers and other colonists inhabited a land far from the European continent.  One could argue, who even cared about that bunch?  Yet it was a vassal of European global expansion with perceived riches.

Then the most powerful country in the world militarily acted, albeit assuming this crowd as weak and taken for granted.  The end result is the United States of America.

Theoretically easily squashed, yet supported by France and Germany, the ‘shot heard around the world’ transformed the human trajectory significantly and forever.  Europe (including the UK) has been paid back a hundred fold for that investment for over 200 years.  Many others have also fought and attained sustained freedom.

Do not underestimate the Will (power) of the One.  No one can argue that the Thirteen dramatically impacted the last two plus centuries.  Perhaps the One will change the next few generations.  As before, we may be witnessing the end of a centuries old power structure.

Will the current investment in Ukraine will return similar dividends?  Odds are, yes.  Even when one does not prevail, i.e., Spartacus and the 300 at Thermopylae the world changed for the better because of their commitments.

Not limited to conflict, other examples of the small taking on the giant include Microsoft v IBM.  This is a common to the universal human condition with a long track record of success with some failure.  Ukraine has shown themselves to the the Home of the Brave.  Hopefully, soon they will also the Land of the Free.

Many of us in the global community are heirs of the Thirteen.  What are we doing for the One?

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For more information on Cross Cultural Engagement, check out our Cross Cultural Serious Game.  You can contact this author as well.

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