Core Beliefs

What are Karl Aquino’s Core Beliefs? 

Leave the fate of humanity in the hands of the few who choose to lead. Instead of leading, be a follower. Do mundane and irresponsible things that nobody will care about and few will remember. Show up late for work, or not at all. Cook packaged oatmeal in the microwave for breakfast instead of making crepe suzette from scratch. Drive to your yoga class in an SUV. You will probably not be immortalized anyway, so resign yourself to vanishing inconspicuously into the mists of time. In this you will find comfort knowing that you will have joined billions of others as undistinguished and inconsequential as yourself.

Today, the complexity and scale of the challenges we face are unprecedented. That is why I don’t bother thinking about them. Let people who are convinced they have the answers to the world’s problems grapple with these challenges. If they are successful, you’ll be better off without having to do any work. If they fail, at least it won’t be your fault. As a follower, you can simply concentrate on doing what everyone else does and hope the leaders of humanity won’t ruin your life with their grandiose plans and pathological overconfidence.

I read somewhere that “The globalization of international trade is creating more complex flows of people, goods, funds, and technology across national boundaries. The addition of 80 million people each year to an already overcrowded globe is exacerbating the problems of pollution, desertification, underemployment, epidemics, and famine. Already, 2 billion people lack access to clean water, and rapid climate change is altering our way of life. War is a current reality for over one-third of the world. 1 out of every 6 Americans goes without heath insurance. Only 53% of students in U.S. cities graduate high school.” I honestly don’t know anything about these issues, but they seem diverse and immense. So I ignore them.

As a follower, you will be content to observe the chaos and environmental ruin going on around you with mind-numbing indifference. Instead of meddling in other people’s affairs and wasting you time supporting ill-fated crusades, distract yourself with tedious, self-aggrandizing pursuits. I recommend collecting bicycles or giving unsolicited advice to people you don’t know on how to raise their children. Everyone is different. This is what makes people so annoying. Don’t waste time trying to transcend these differences, which is exhausting and fruitless. Avoid people altogether and focus your efforts on becoming even more self-absorbed than you already are. Research shows that it is easier for us to think about ourselves than about anything else in the world. Don’t fight this natural inclination. Love yourself and whether others love or hate you won’t matter.

Let me be clear. I have no idea how to make a brighter and more prosperous future. The only future I know is the one that’s ahead of me. I need other people and organizations to look forward because I don’t bother doing it myself. We need people who are smart enough to know that the future always comes after the past. Always. The future will reach us whether we like it or not. So we either move towards the future or it moves toward us. Then, when it goes by, it will be in the past and we’ll have missed it. None of us wants to miss the future.

What the world needs more of are individuals and organizations who are willing to relinquish the responsibilities of leadership. Fortunately, leadership is a choice and responsibility not an obligation, which makes it easy to avoid. It’s too much work to be a leader and most people are bad at it anyway. Chances are you’ll be bad at it too. It will be our ability to display relentless conformity in the face of global disintegration that will allow us to be forgotten by generations to come. It is time that we start holding ourselves to a higher standard, a higher standard of followership. This is the credo by which I live, and one which I am readily willing to abandon if instructed to do so by someone who is smarter, more creative, harder working, richer, and better looking than me.

Sincerely,

K. F. Aquino

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