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A Public 'Thank You'

•, by Butler Shaffer
 Not only am I thankful for the generosity of Gary Schlarbaum in providing this award, but it reinforces my sense of how creative change occurs in our world. I have long been of the view that civilizations are created by individuals, and are destroyed by collectives.
In our politicized world, the established order has helped condition our minds to the belief that significant social change can occur only if 51% plus of our neighbors are first convinced of the need for such a transformation. Such a mindset tends to neutralize our personal efforts, to cause us to marginalize our creativity. When I write or speak of the need for significant change in our world, I often get the response "but what can one person do about it?" On the basis of such thinking, those who insist on ruling others by violent means continue to have their way.

I remind people how the creative actions of individuals gave birth to Western Civilization including the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, among other epochs. These creative periods were largely prefaced by one Johann Gutenberg, whose invention of movable type made possible the mass printing and distribution of ideas that fostered the intellectual development of humanity. Nor can we overlook such relatively recent contributors to Western Civilization as Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and other individuals too numerous to list.

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