Change (/CHānj/): to make or become different
To change is to evolve. To grow. To become new again. For anything to change requires tremendous perseverance and often brute force.
Consider a worthless black rock transforming into a diamond over billions of years. Or someone losing hundreds and hundreds of pounds after battling obesity their entire life.
Many times, we think change is impossible. But I’m here to tell you today it’s not.
Here’s the best example I’ve ever seen:
Starting With a War Zone
During the 80s and 90s, Medellín, Colombia was considered to be the world’s deadliest city. It was a straight-up war zone.
As street gangs, narcos, guerrilla fighters, and paramilitary groups battled for control, tens of thousands of people were killed or displaced. Police were afraid to even enter certain parts of town, so utter lawlessness reigned for decades.
Flash forward to today, and the scene could not be more different. Children are playing in the streets, tourists are freely snapping pictures, and Colombia’s only mass transit line (the Medellín Metro) whisks people from one end of the city to the other every few min.
A Pristine Symbol of Change
Snaking between graffiti-coated buildings, the Medellín Metro doesn’t have a single speck of spray paint. The Medellín Metro is pristine. There’s not one scratch on the seats. Why?
Because it’s a symbol of change. A symbol of the unthinkable.
Construction of the Medellín Metro began during the height of violence in Medellín. The fact that it was even completed is almost incomprehensible. The first trip of the Metro took place in 1995, just two years after the death of Medellín’s most notorious drug lord. That same year, there were still three times more murders in Medellín than in the entire rest of the country.
The Only Thing Limiting Human Ingenuity
For the citizens of Medellín, the Metro became a glimmer of hope in the darkest of times.
If a city with the highest murder rate on the planet can transform to become the World’s Most Innovative City in one short decade, we too can start that company we’ve always dreamed of.
If a group of dedicated leaders can construct a country’s only public transit line amid war-like violence, our team at work can solve that problem that keeps us up at night.
As the Medellín Metro shows us on a daily basis, the only thing limiting human ingenuity is perseverance.
Change is possible. We just have to believe in and relentlessly work for it.
See you next Sunday at 8:30pm. 🙂
**I was originally inspired to write about Medellín after traveling there with my girlfriend last weekend. Thanks to Juan from Real City Tours for telling us his story of growing up in Medellín during the 90s and the radical transformation his city has undergone.