The SXSW festival (sxsw.com) just finished. Every year, the festival brings innovators, rising stars, and big names across several industries to have those crucial conversations about the state of society, emerging trends, and ideals.
People who created history, discuss their ideas for what the future should/will look like. This year, some of the most recognized speakers include Elon Musk, Melinda Gates, and Ethan Hawke.
During this time, Austin was also under attack by a serial bomber, now known as Mark Anthony Conditt. His package bombs killed two African American men and injured two Caucasian men. SXSW was especially concerned about attendee safety during this festival.
For much of my life, I have believed that the difference between entrepreneurs and criminals was the access to support systems, resources, and mentors.
I grew up in the ghetto. I watched young, innocent children grow up in a world where authority has decided who they were and treated them as such. They made a (or several) misguided decision(s) until they found themselves locked up or killed.
The curse of urban America.
I don’t know who Mark Anthony Conditt was or why he was motivated to destroy instead of build. I suspect we’ll learn more about (or not). We know, white male terrorism is often blamed on mental illness, rather than an agenda, a privilege not often afforded to other races.
I wonder about the potential criminals and madmen if we can catch these children early enough and harness their creativity to better the world instead of destroying it. The world could use more Elon’s and Melinda’s.
Instead of building prisons to house people like animals for the rest of their lives, what could society look like? What kind of progress could we escalate if non-conformist thinking was guided?
Even if this guy cannot be rehabilitated, what about the others who aren’t making headlines but are caught up in destructive lives? What if we could help them before they stepped into the downward spiral?
I think about my childhood friends before they were “criminals”. We’d go for walks, go to each other’s house and play. Then we grew up and things would never be the same.
Mark Anthony Conditt: https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/25/us/austin-bombings-investigation/index.html
Entrepeneurs and Juvenile Delinquents: https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkwilliams/2016/05/09/outlaws-outliers-and-juvenile-delinquents-how-theyre-reframing-the-game-of-business/#6eb12c7039ae