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Hidden Potential

Hidden Potential

Hello and good day!

There is still a lot of hidden potential waiting to be discovered in this world. When you drive up the northern Peruvian coast, you pass through hours and hours of barren, desert, wasteland. I have been fascinated by this stretch of earth for going on 20 years.

Back when we started doing business in Peru, there wasn't consistent air travel from Lima, the capital of Peru, to Cajamarca, the northern mountain town where we had set up shop. The only way to get to Cajamarca was a long,15 hour bus ride that left mid afternoon one day and arrived early morning the next day.

From Lima, the bus traveled up the northern coast until it reached a point somewhere between Trujillo and Chiclayo. Then the bus started heading due east and worked its way up and through the Andes mountains.

If you keep going north, past Trujillo and Chiclayo, you will reach a bunch of beautiful northern beach towns that are great places to visit. In between every city are long stretches of sand and gravel, not a single plant or any other sign of life to be seen.

It only rains out there once every couple of years.

Traveling along the northern Peruvian coast brought to life the fact that civilization almost always springs up around water. I remember reading about ancient Egypt and how it grew up on the Nile river.

You can see the same thing happening in real time in northern Peru.

Every hour or so, a river comes down from the Andes mountains and cuts across the desert, working its way to the Pacific ocean. Invariably, a little town, or even a huge city like Chiclayo, has sprung up around the source of water. Keep driving through town, away from the river, and you find yourself back in the desert again.

Now here is an amazing fact. When it does rain in this desert, the whole desert turns green with lush plant life. There is potential in the sand and gravel waiting to be activated.

Here is something else to consider.

Before we started buying cacao in Peru, our cacao farm partners were selling their cacao into the normal industrial chocolate supply chain. The cacao was going in to standard, mass produced, low grade chocolate. The genetic make up of the cacao was exactly the same as it is today.

Pure Nacional has likely been growing in that pocket of the jungle for thousands upon thousands of years, maybe more.

But nobody knew what it was. Nobody knew that it could make delicious chocolate. The potential was there just waiting to be discovered.

Two more examples.

First, yours truly. I never wrote a single thing until early 2020. Then I started writing this daily email.Now I am going to have a book published.That got me to wondering what would have happened if I'd started writing 30 years ago.

If the potential was always there, I could have gotten a jump on this writing thing a whole lot earlier. That thought makes me want to look at just about everybody I know, young and old, and wonder what they could be doing that they aren't.

Last example.

A customer in one of our shops hipped me to a documentary called Landfill Harmonic.If you go on Youtube and do a search for Landfill Harmonic, you will find a bunch of clips featuring the Recycled Orchestra. You can also rent the full documentary on Amazon Prime or Apple TV, I believe.

Anyhow, the Recycled Orchestra is made up of a bunch of kids who live in an extremely impoverished part of Paraguay. The orchestra was formed when a group of local kids saw hidden potential in the town's garbage.

The kids wanted to learn to play music.

But the school didn't have any instruments and the families couldn't afford to buy them. The kids started watching videos online about how to build their own instruments.

They started looking around and realized that the materials they'd need to make instruments were available in the town dump. The kids started networking with the workers at the dump. Any time a worker came across material that could be used to fashion an instrument, the material was set aside.

The kids came by and picked up the materials every single day, and little by little, they started to build instruments. After they had a built a decent collection of instruments, the kids needed to learn how to play, which they also did.

Now this music group travels the world playing concerts on their home made instruments. They have become an international sensation.

If you had walked through their sleepy little town before this phenomenon took off, it would have taken great vision to see the potential there.

But it was there.

Somebody just needed to discover it and pursue it.

I'd argue that the world is still full of unsolved mysteries and untapped potential. Anybody, and I do mean anybody, can get involved in the treasure hunt. And it is probably one of the most fun and satisfying things that any of us can do.

Keep your eyes open. Look at the environment. Look at people. Talk to people. Go down rabbit holes. You might just discover something magical that is hidden in plain sight.

I hope that you have a truly blessed day!


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