Best Live Music Venues in KC

Hello again! Scott Asner here. Many of you know that music is one of my passions, and Kansas City is a vibrant hub for music lovers. With such an active live music scene and breadth of genres, it’s no wonder that KC is home to some fantastic venues. Today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite spots to see live music shows in Kansas City.

The RecordBar

Steve Tulipana’s RecordBar perfects the balance between small, local artists and internationally famous performers. RecordBar has been open for over 15 years and has had two locations, and survived through the height of the pandemic— and it’s easy to see why. Great shows, genres for any musical palate, and a welcoming-community-feel result in a venue with a lot of appeal. Any music lover will see that RecordBar is a top-notch example of what Kansas City has to offer.

Lemonade Park

Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, Lemonade Park is a new addition to the Kansas City music scene. Created by Steve Tulipana (co-owner of the RecordBar) along with Wes Gartner and Jill Myers (co-owners of Voltaire), Lemonade Park was conceptualized as a way for the community to gather safely and support local musicians during the pandemic. This hip outdoor venue is tucked in a lot in the Stockyards District, offering food and drink from Voltaire. Lemonade Park’s casual setting is a great place to enjoy local music and cold drinks on a summer night.

The Rino

The Rino is a youthful, intimate venue, and a perfect slice of KC culture. Whether you’re a born-and-raised local or a first time visitor, the Rino is sure to please. They offer a rotating selection of beer on tap, and their menu often features local breweries such as Colony Ales. As well as hosting small shows, the Rino also offers open-mic comedy nights on Wednesdays.

KC Live!

KC Live! is a bustling concert venue with a covered outdoor stage, often featuring popular musicians and bands from around the nation and the world. Located in the heart of the power and light district, KC Live! is also a great spot for food and drink, with lots of options available. If you’re seeing a show at KC Live!, you’re bound to have a good time.

Kansas City Music Hall

The Music Hall at the Kansas City Convention Center is a spacious venue for musical performances and other world-class stage productions. This timeless spot opened in 1936 and has been a gem in the crown of Kansas City’s entertainment scene ever since. An evening at the Music Hall makes for a great outing.

No matter what your favorite genre is, there is something for everyone in KC! Next time you’re looking to get a taste of Kansas City’s music scene, I hope you’ll visit one of these venues.

~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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My Favorite Hiking Gear

Scott Asner favorite hiking gear

Hi all! Scott Asner here. You may already know how much I love the outdoors, especially hiking.  Beginners may not know what they need for the trail, and even seasoned hikers overlook useful items on their packing list sometimes. Today I wanted to share some of my favorite hiking gear or hiking equipment, so you’ll be prepared on your next hike.

1. Insulated Water Bottle

Everyone knows it’s important to stay hydrated, especially on a long walk or hike. If you normally use a plastic or single-walled bottle, try a double-walled metal bottle. Using an insulated bottle to keep water cold makes a big difference. It’s amazing how a cold drink of water can feel so refreshing!

2. Hiking Socks

High quality hiking socks make a world of difference when I go on a hike. Make sure your socks are long enough to protect your ankles from being rubbed by your boots. Thick socks can prevent blisters, and these days, most hiking socks wick away sweat and moisture.

3. Hiking Boots

I think most people will agree that a good pair of shoes or boots is the most important gear you can have for a hike. Anyone who has been on a hike knows that good footwear can make or break your experience. Always remember to break in your boots before wearing them on the trail!

4. Whistle

It’s important to bring adequate safety gear, especially on rocky or unfamiliar trails. Even if you are in a familiar location, you could get turned around or injured. It takes no effort to pack something as small as a whistle, but if you end up needing one, you’ll be glad to have it with you.

5. Sun Hat

I always bring a hat to a hike. Even on a cloudy day, UV rays can give you a sunburn, so it’s a good idea to wear some sun protection. Hats are great for keeping the sun and sweat out of your eyes.

6. Sunglasses

When you’re out in the elements, it’s important to protect your eyes as well. Make sure your sunglasses have polarized lenses to keep out UV rays. Wearing cheap sunglasses can damage your eyes, so it’s good to invest in a good pair and take care of them. Your eyes will thank you!

7. Walking Sticks

A pair of walking sticks is great for keeping your balance on a trail. Also called hiking sticks or trekking sticks, they help you on uneven terrain and steep hills. Walking sticks are not necessary on every trail, but they can be a great addition to your hiking gear collection.

8. Cotton Bandana

A cotton bandana is great for the hiking trail, or anywhere. You can dab your face with it in hot weather or tie it around your head. If you pack a picnic lunch for the trail, a bandana can be your napkin.

9. First Aid Kit

It’s a good idea to bring a small first aid kit on any hike. A simple pack of bandages, wipes, and antibiotic ointment will help you keep small cuts, scrapes, and blisters clean.

10. Camera

A camera may not seem like essential hiking gear, but it’s great to bring one on the trail, and to take pictures of the wildlife, and the views. When you’re hiking with friends and family, snap a few shots of them as well! It is fun to make memories with loved ones while enjoying the outdoors and fresh air.

I hope this list helps you step up your hiking experience, so you’ll enjoy the outdoors as much as I do!

~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Five Ways To Enjoy Nature in Kansas City

1. Visit a Nature Center

Kansas City is home to several nature centers as well as the Kansas City Zoo. Nature centers are great for a family-friendly outing, and they are so educational! Some of the nature centers offer free programs or affordable children’s passes, and the Lakeside Nature Center is free. Going to nature centers is a great way to learn about local wildlife and ecology. Nature centers are also great resources to learn about sustainability. As the threat of climate change looms, we should learn more about what we can do to make the planet greener.

2. Take Pictures

Even in urban areas, there can be a lot of natural beauty to observe. It can be fun to snap photos and identify trees, other plants, or wildlife in your area. Bird watching is also a great activity in cities. Parks are an easy and accessible place to spot birds and other wildlife. You can also set up a bird feeder in your yard. Feeding the birds helps local wildlife thrive. Hummingbird feeders are a fun addition to any yard or deck, especially if you have kids. You may be surprised how many types of birds you can photograph, even from your own window! You can also frame your favorite pictures and display them on your wall.

3. Volunteer for a Cleanup Project

Kansas City is full of beautiful parks, rivers, and lakes, but unfortunately litter still ends up on the ground. In an effort to keep nature beautiful and clean, try volunteering for a park cleanup. Not only is it a great way to help care for KC and the Earth, it’s also an opportunity to meet others in your community. It is much easier to make a difference when we work together!

4. Take Advantage of Community Gardens

Even if you don’t have your own garden, you can rent a plot in a community garden. Gardening is a fun hobby where you’ll learn a lot about nature. Try learning about native plants so you can add them to your plot. Native plants will usually fare better than invasive species because they evolved for the local conditions. You can also try growing vegetables such as beans, tomatoes, or peppers. After your hard work, you can harvest them and make a healthy meal from your own locally grown produce. Community gardens are a great way to get to know your neighbors too. If you have extra vegetables, share them! Your fellow gardeners may share with you as well.

5. Compost

Whether you garden in your own backyard or in a community garden, compost will be great for the soil. It all starts in your kitchen, and compost is an easy way to turn food waste into something useful. There are several ways to compost, but cold composting may be easier for beginners. You can put a small compost bin on your counter or put a larger one outside. Add veggie scraps, cardboard, eggshells, and coffee grounds. In an outdoor bin, you can also add lawn trimmings or raked leaves. Compost takes time, but it’s a great way to reduce food scraps in landfills.

I hope you try one of these tips so we can all keep Kansas City—and the world— green and beautiful. Remember, you can always put on your shoes and just go for a stroll or a hike as well. Thanks for reading!

~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Best Hiking Trails In and Around Kansas City

scott asner hiking

Hi all, Scott Asner here. As many of you know, I’m a big fan of everything related to nature – whether it’s green workplace initiatives or all the greenery in and around Kansas City. I love being outside in the great outdoors.

I recently went on a hike. I find the best way to clear my mind and get some exercise is making my way through our beautiful landscape. It occurred to me how fortunate I am to live in Kansas City and have access to such spectacular hiking trails. As a way to remember my past adventures more vividly, I thought I’d write about my favorite hiking trails in and around Kansas City.

These are my top five favorite places to hike:

White Tail Trail at the Parkville Nature Sanctuary

This mesmerizing White Tail Trail at the Parkville Nature Sanctuary spans a 3-mile loop. It features a waterfall and truly has an urban forest-type of feel to it. As you know, Kansas City is famous for its waterfalls and this trail has a reputation to keep. I greatly enjoy this trail though I rarely have it to myself. The waterfall lures locals and travelers from far and wide. While it’s a relatively short trail and you will likely complete it in less than an hour and a half. Still, the bench conveniently situated by the waterfall makes it an ideal place to sit in awe at the beauty that abounds. I love that it’s open year-round.

Maple Woods Natural Area Trail at Maple Woods Nature Preserve

Moss-lined paths and towering maple wood trees are in full splendor at the Maple Woods Natural Area Trail at the Maple Woods Nature Preserve. This 1-mile loop is dog-friendly, though dogs must be leashed. It’s also well-traveled and can be completed during your lunch break since it’s about a 30-minute hike. I like how quickly it’s as if you’re transported to a different world and the humbling feel one finds beside the tall, tall, trees. Sometimes I’ll hike this path twice in a row and I never tire of its beauty.

Larry Mattenon Memorial Trail at South Prairie Lee Park

Depending on what my morning looks like, the 4.8-mile Larry Mattenon Memorial Trail loop at South Prairie Lee Park can be my very first stop. It’s incredible if you get there early enough to see the sunrise through the leaves. I have one particular trail I like, but there are a few to choose from and all have their special glory. Check your phone from time to time and if you’re lucky enough to find your next meeting is rescheduled, stay a little longer and explore some more.

Buckeye Creek Trail at Buckeye Greenway

Buckeye Creek Trail at Buckeye Greenway is less than 2-miles but it’s mighty cute and offers quite the change in scenery, particularly considering its size.  This hike features a picturesque bridge and ample views of wildlife. The trail itself is easy to traverse but finding it might be another matter. Some people think finding the trail is part of the adventure. If it’s your first time, you’ll want to bring a trail buddy. It’s not as popular as some of the other trails but I’m still rather fond of it.

Orange, Violet, and Red Trail at Shawnee Mission Park

There are many varied paths to explore at Shawnee Mission Park and many are paved and accessible by most everyone. This is a go-to for team building activities and family outings. The Orange, Violet, and Red Trail is a good workout at 7-miles around a moderately challenging loop. You’ll see a lake, horseback riders, and mountain bikers along the way too. This trail is best to visit April through October.

I hope if you visit one or more of these trails after reading this, you enjoy every moment. Kansas City and the surrounding areas have much beauty and grandeur. There really is nothing quite like the great outdoors – especially here.

~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Must-See Museums in Kansas City

Hey y’all! Scott Asner here. Kansas City is well-regarded for its picturesque fountains, jazz, and barbecue, but did you know that it’s a must-see destination for museum-goers? We have an interesting variety of artifacts, and we’re also home to the only museum in the United States dedicated to the of America’s Western trails. Here are some of my favorite local museums:

National Frontier Trails Museum
Just 20-minutes from Kansas City, in Independence, Mo., you’ll find covered wagons and nearly 3,000 original, first-person accounts of settlers who traveled the Oregon, Santa Fe and California trails at the National Frontier Trails Museum. The site itself was a main starting point for hundreds of thousands of pioneers who risked their lives to start anew in the American West.

The National WWI Museum and Memorial
History buffs will wander in awe at The National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City. Built in Egyptian Revival architectural style, the building is an iconic landmark that boasts more than 100,000 artifacts. It’s been designated as America’s official WWI museum by Congress. Visitors can walk through a life-size howitzer crater, peek into trenches, and more. The museum’s centerpiece is the Liberty Memorial Tower structure, which rises 217-feet above the main courtyard and features an open-air observation deck with incredible city views.

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
If you ever want the experience of feeling like a giant, head to the The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. The museum is home to the world’s largest collection of fine-scale miniatures and one of the largest collections of historic toys currently on public display. Toys here document our society’s cultural beliefs and technological advancements, making this a fun discussion with friends, families, and peers. Some toys date back to the 18th Century.

Arabia Steamboat Museum
The Arabia Steamboat was one of many casualties on the Missouri River – the longest river in the U.S. The Arabia Steamboat Museum houses 200 tons of cargo from life on the American frontier in 1856. This is one of Kansas City’s most popular attractions, and for good reason. The museum offers visitors a rare opportunity to experience everyday items that made life possible for pioneers during that time period. It also features the largest single collection of pre-Civil War artifacts in the world.

Shoal Creek Living History Museum
If you really want to stroll down memory lane, head to the Shoal Creek Living History Museum.
Tucked away on 80 acres (out of the 1,000 acres that makes up Hodge Park), the museum has 21-structures and 17 authentic buildings from the 19th century dating as far back as 1807! Interestingly, the historic log cabins and homes were relocated from nearby counties to make a village setting.

Truman Library and Museum
One of only 14 U.S. Presidential Libraries, the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum chronicle’s the life and career of the 33rd President of the United States. The museum recently finished a huge renovation, the first in more than 20 years and the largest since the museum opened its doors in 1957. Exhibits depict Truman’s most difficult decisions, like the atomic bomb, Cold War, and more. Visitors will see two of Truman’s offices ¬¬– the actual office he used from 1957-1966 and a replica of his Oval Office. The museum also has a vast collection of historical possessions, political memorabilia, and diplomatic gifts.

The next time you’re in town, make sure to leave plenty of time to visit these must-see museums in Kansas City. If you’re a local, any of these museums are such an incredible opportunity to feel transported to a different place. I highly recommend taking your time exploring the many important and historical findings at Kansas City museums. I don’t have much free time, but when I do, you’ll find me wandering the exhibits.

~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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3 Fun Things to Do in Kansas City

scott asner

Hello everyone, Scott Asner here. I’m a long time Kansas City guy. While we’re not the most visited city, maybe we should be. This place is very special with much to do. Allow me to share three of the best things to do in Kansas City.

  1. Feel the Mist of a Local Fountain
    Kansas City is known as the City of Fountains. We have more than 200 fountains, 48 of which are open to the public. In fact, we’re rumored to have more fountains than Rome! It’s not in every city that you can spend the day fountain hopping, but you can in Kansas City.

If you’re short on time, I recommend you put the Women’s Leadership Fountain in the Paseo West neighborhood at the top of your list. This is the city’s oldest working fountain and dates back to 1899. Another great one to visit is the Mill Creek Fountain. It’s the most photographed of all our fountains and for good reason. It’s beautiful and has a fascinating history. It arrived here in 1951 from Paris, where it was built more than 40 years prior.

  1. See Larger than Life Art
    Kansas City is home to some of the best museums and art galleries in the Midwest, but to me, our most exciting art is found on walls, sidewalks, and bridges. We have incredible murals – and much like the fountains, we have about 200 of them too. They are large and commanding. You could spend all day, all week, even all month, visiting these jaw-dropping works of art.

Some of the murals tell a story from the past while others call attention to local values, activities, and people. As a sports fan, one of my favorites is the 1,600 sq ft mural on the side of Tom’s Town Distilling, it’s the Chiefs Kingdom Mural honoring the city’s championship football team. I also particularly enjoy the mural that’s the facade of the parking garage for the Central Branch of the public library. The garage looks like a row of books on a shelf, but these aren’t your average library books. These “books” are 25-feet tall and nine-feet wide. The books are quite detailed too. There are 22-titles represented, ranging from “The Lord of the Rings,” by J. R. R. Tolkien, to “Fahrenheit 451,” by Ray Bradbury, among others. When you go, look for the books along the south wall of the Central Library’s parking garage on 10th St. between Wyandotte St. and Baltimore Ave., but, really, you can’t miss them.

  1. Head to Market
    Kansas City’s River Market is well known for its weekend farmers’ market but it’s located in a beautiful neighborhood as has much more to offer than just fruits and veggies. Shop for locally made goods, browse the mom-and-pop stores, then stroll along Berkley Park and take in the stunning views over the Missouri River. If you have time (and to keep with my 200 theme) check out the Arabia Steamboat Museum, where you’ll find an impressive collection of pre–Civil War artifacts and hear the legendary tale of the loss and discovery of the steamboat’s 200 tons of mystery cargo.

There are many more things to do in Kansas City but if I had a handful of hours to meander, I’d do one or all of these. Enjoy your time in our fabulous city.

~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Are Live Music Tours Going Extinct?

Hello everyone, Scott Asner here. Music has always been a big part of my life. While I’m in no way, shape, or form a musician, I do love music, particularly, live music. A good tune heard during a live performance can be quite transformative. Maybe it’s me. I’m Old School with things like that.

Some of my younger readers may not know, and others won’t remember, how the record industry used to work before the internet was born. It was surprisingly simple before all the bells and whistles, or e-bells and e-whistles.

Record labels contracted with artists to create albums of songs. The record label would handle all the marketing to make sure the world had a chance to hear the artist’s music, and the record label would often handle the distribution of the music through physical media such as records, tapes or CDs. The only way a person could enjoy recorded music was by buying the physical recording or by listening to the radio. With music being restricted to those pathways, people were willing to pay money to have access to it. Artists and record labels, as well as producers, engineers, mixers and masterers, could make a great living from even modest sales. They could make millions from a hit.

For obvious reasons that changed substantially when Napster began. Once people learned they could get music for free, the cat was out of the bag. Later on, with streaming, it became clear that artists could no longer support themselves purely through album sales. Which brings us right back to live performances.

I’m a huge fan of live music. It is truly the best way to experience an artist’s work, and the energy you get from a live show is simply unmatched anywhere. Nowadays, artists are really forced to spend a lot of time on the road if they are going to make any significant income. The issue I have is this: It costs a LOT of money to put together a tour and it takes a whole lot of effort from lots of people. The investment an artist makes in touring is a big risk, and if they have enough of a following to support major ticket sales, they’ll find themselves bankrupt. The desire to dedicate their lives to music may remain, but the reality on the ground will almost certainly lead them to some other field. Who knows, the world may have just lost the next Bob Dylan. So, it certainly seems live music tours are in peril. Will they vanish? Only time will tell.

~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Examples of Green-Tech Investments

Hi guys, Scott Asner here.

In my previous blog post, I discussed the possibility of governments using stimulus packages to invest in green technologies that will, in turn, help create new jobs while bringing the U.S. into the forefront of burgeoning industries.

However, it’s easy to just state these claims without giving thought to what that process could look like. So today, I wanted to take the time to go deeper into this topic and discuss a couple of areas where green-tech and green industries can help stimulate job growth.

Building Renovations

Buildings generate nearly 40% of annual global green-house-gas emissions. The two most common sources of energy for buildings are electricity and direct consumption of natural gas and petroleum for things like heating and cooking. This is a large area of energy consumption — which makes it a great area for improvement.

The process of making existing buildings more energy efficient is called “retrofitting.” Often retrofitting involves modifications to existing commercial buildings that may improve energy efficiency or decrease energy demand. Improvements can be done in areas such as lighting, air distribution systems, heating and cooling upgrades, and much more.

Many buildings still need to be “retrofitted” and this could be an area where we invest in higher energy performance commercial building assets while also simulating jobs. It may be worthwhile to increase the current number of buildings being renovated for energy efficiency.

Electric Vehicle Chargers

Bloomberg NEF’s latest analysis predicts that by 2022, there will be over 500 different electric vehicle models available globally. This expanding market will be able to offer dynamic pricing for a spectrum of buyers from luxury to price-sensitive, making EV a viable option for the masses.

The trends show that mass adoption of EV will make its breakthrough soon. According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, the United States will need to invest more than $2.2 billion in charging infrastructure to meet demand for charging by 2025. A breakdown of those numbers shows that $1.3 billion will be needed to make the necessary upgrades to home charging while $940 million would go toward workplace and public charging.

Investments in charging infrastructure are critical to boost EV mass adoption in the U.S., as studies have shown that a lack of charging opportunities remains a top reason why potential buyers aren’t going for these kinds of vehicles.

In instances when the government issues trillions of dollars for stimulus packages – these areas present opportunities for investment. We could help change our infrastructure to support the adoption of these emerging technologies.

These are just two ideas — but the green tech industry is full of great, creative ideas on how we can create new jobs while also bettering our society and preparing ourselves for the world of tomorrow. We can possibly view this challenging moment as an opportunity to propel ourselves forward.

~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Scott Asner: Thoughts on Investing in Green-Tech

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us what a global economic crisis looks like.

In just the first few weeks of the outbreak, the U.S. economy was pushed to the brink of a recession more severe than the one experienced in 2008. And due to the extraordinary nature of this emergency, policymakers were left working without a playbook and moved forward to issue trillions of dollars in stimulus in an attempt to maintain jobs and drive recovery.

As the world watches where things go from here, the uncertainty of this downturn is echoing the ambiguity of the virus itself. We have no idea when this crisis will end, and what our world will look like on the other side. That lack of confidence shows in our current market situation.

Even with the unprecedented efforts put in place to protect American jobs, will it be enough to truly keep us afloat until this crisis is ‘over?’ Perhaps what we really need is a sustainable, and fast, job-based recovery that can also grow long-term.

One immediate example comes to mind when thinking of an important sector that can accommodate a large influx of new jobs: green industries.

The rationale is simple, and the impact is two-fold: investing in green industries and tech creates a bounty of new jobs — while simultaneously addressing larger universal concerns such as climate change and a shifting energy sector.

A University of Oxford paper published in May 2020 sheds light on the potential success of this approach. The paper claims that renewable energy generates more jobs in the short-run — such as when jobs are scarce in the middle of a recession. The paper also advocates that recovery policies can deliver on both economic and sustainability goals. Given the magnitude of both crises, this would be an admirable mark to shoot for.

While we can understand the logic behind the standard stimulus packages used to prevent economic collapse, we have also seen them fail to help many everyday Americans, and they do little to invest in fixing issues for the long term. They appear to be necessary band-aids that cover temporary wounds, while they could be used for so much more.

Governments could use portions of these stimulus budgets to redirect investments into green technologies and industries, which will allow us to stabilize, grow and lead the economy into the future.

If you need more proof, here are the numbers: in 2011, the World Bank showed that every $1 million dollars of spending in solar, wind and energy efficiency creates almost 3 times more jobs than the oil and gas sectors. Additionally, for every $1 million in spending, 7.5 full-time jobs can be generated in renewable infrastructure, 7.7 in energy efficiency, but only 2.7 in fossil fuels.

The evidence is clear that this sector is extremely capable of providing cost-effective employment at scale, and if we chose to focus fiscal recovery packages to include green industries, then we can use a jobs-based recovery model that also helps us create a better world.

~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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The Math of Gratitude (Part Two)

Hi all,

It’s Scott Asner in Kansas City – welcome back to my blog!

Previously, I shared some interesting facts related to the population of the United States in comparison to the rest of the world. I thought it was a fascinating topic that underscores just how lucky we all are in our daily lives. – so today I wanted to expand the idea and focus on our current place in time.

I’d like to invite you to ponder some of the following points and get a sense of all of the things we take for granted simply by virtue of being born in our historical era.

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As a starting point, it is estimated that the total number of human beings to exist throughout all of history is around 100 billion people, with the first appearing between five and seven million years ago. To give you some perspective – there are currently 7.6 billion people alive today. This is an important idea to keep in mind because it highlights the sheer number of people who have lived much harder lives in years past, without the modern comforts we now enjoy.

Take something as common as the air-conditioner for example. Air-conditioning was not invented until 1902. And while anyone living in the 21st century would find it hard to go about a hot summer day without our buildings circulating cool air – that was the standard for millions of years.

Going back just a couple of decades earlier, the modern lightbulb first appeared in 1879. Before that we had torches, candles and gas lamps, each with its obvious limitations. Think of how many extra hours in the day the modern person gains through such a small invention. And now, we even have options for things like colored lighting, mood lighting and flashlights on our smartphones – all of which would have been inconceivable not too long ago.

You can even go back tens of thousands of years and find incredible inventions that now allow us to live in relative luxury. For example, the adoption of agriculture is considered to be one of the turning points in the human story. While challenging to nail down, experts estimate that humans first began farming somewhere between 10,000 – 15,000 years ago.

Before farming, humans lived short lives in nomadic tribes, hunting and foraging for every piece of food they could find. Life was grueling and spent traveling from location to location (most often by foot) to hunt down the next meal. With no time to waste, every second counted as valuable time to find resources just to survive. And imagine how many people passed away from mistakenly eating harmful plants and animals, before slowly figuring out the appropriate diet for human beings.

Contrast the reality described above with today, when most people are not even sure where their food comes from. Billions of people all over the world make convenient stops at the supermarket and pick up their favorite mass-produced foods and snacks, or even order it directly to their doors with a couple of swipes on their phones. Most people exert little to no effort and still have access to nearly unlimited options for food sources.

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Of course, these examples do not even factor in game-changing inventions that are the basis of modern life. Things like antibiotics, the automobile, computers, the internet, smartphones and more keep us all happy, healthy and afford us ample time for leisure.

It can be easy to overlook these modern miracles but reflecting on their tremendous value and their impact on the arch of our shared story is a great way to find gratitude as well as a reminder that we are always living in the best of times.

So consider yourself lucky and remember that the best is yet to come.

Until next time,

~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri

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