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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Why Habits Are the Key to Success

Hi everyone, Scott Asner here. I’ve been thinking a lot about habits lately. Many people think attaining a goal means you made major strides, took big steps, and overcame immense odds to reach it. I think that’s possible but what’s more probable, is that a series if teeny tiny steps were taken along the way, some consistently and with intent, and that these micro-increments led to macro-results.

Habits may seem insignificant, but I’ve learned over the years that the way we do things has great consequence. To enact a big change, I find I need to start small. To read a chapter of a book at night – a recent goal – I had to build my way to that habit. First, I identified a book I really wanted to read. Next, I put it on a table where I had to see it several times a day and that was in direct eyesight come evening. Lastly, I set an alarm to go off every night at the same time to prompt me to begin to read. At first, I’d read a few pages but slowly I began to read more and more. And while I still set my alarm, I don’t actually need it anymore. I look forward to my nightly reading and I am now in the habit of doing it.

People are creatures of habit. If there’s something new you want to train yourself to do, the secret to your success lies in the small steps you can systematize. It’s much more important that you take a small action toward your goal every day, than taking a big action inconsistently once in a while. It seems counterintuitive, to take a million little steps than a few big ones, but the truth is you can reach your destination much more quickly when the next step is realistic and within reach. You’re also more likely to stay the course when you can see that you are making progress.

I’ve been in business a long time. Every large accomplishment my peers and I have reached has consisted of many small victories, several slip ups, and lots of dusting oneself off and continuing forward. Perhaps resilience is another quality that’s just as important as habit. Then again, the act of standing up when you’ve fallen down, is in itself a habit. I regress: habit is the definite key to success. Set a goal, choose your habits, do them consistently, and see for yourself what happens.

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

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Best Hiking Trails In and Around Kansas City

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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

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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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This is Why Boxing has Changed Forever

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Hi guys, Scott Asner here. As you all know, I love sports and I particularly love boxing.

Boxing is one of the purest forms of a sport you can find; two men, competing directly against each other with no external forces influencing the outcome. Or, well, it was previously like that. Boxing has changed.

When Muhammad Ali fought George Foreman in 1974 it was just two men trying to best each other with pure technique, strength and determination. The best boxers didn’t just have the best physiques, but possessed an extra gear; a voice that simply said “I won’t lose.” Mike Tyson fought people much larger than him, weathering barrages that should have knocked people much bigger than him out, but his competitive spirit refused to lose. These boxers were concerned with nothing other than beating their opponent; it was as simple as that.

Today boxing has become something very different. While I love the notoriety and prestige that boxing has enjoyed in recent years, I thinks the sport has changed. Where there was once a pure, unadulterated contest between two athletes, there is now more circumstance than fight. Publicity has taken center stage, with sport playing second fiddle.

Much like other sports, boxing has adapted to social media; but the sport lost something along the way. Boxers used to fight each other for accolades. The desire to be number one was their main driving force, but today that force is money. It’s hard to say when exactly this change happened, but the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight of 2015 is a good example. You might remember how that fight went, or rather how it ‘didn’t’ go, with both fighters trading what seemed like inconsequential blows until a judge’s decision mercifully ended the altogether unremarkable bout.

While you may remember the fight, chances are, most people remember the build-up much more. The media had a field day with the headlines, the whole world was on the edge of its seat. I couldn’t help but think about how out of hand things had become. Boxers have always been interested in the prize money, but $300 million for a single fight is ridiculous; a prize like that can’t help but change the ethos of any sport.

Muhammad Ali and George Foreman each took home $5 million dollars for their historic fight in ’74, but even adjusted for inflation (about $27M in 2021) that only represents 1/10 of the purse earned by Mayweather and Pacquaio for their 2015 bought. The focus of the sport has undoubtedly shifted to generating revenue. The names on the ticket being almost more important than the fight itself.

More recently, boxing has taken another strange turn. Where it was once an arena for seasoned athletes, today it has become a place to settle celebrity beef. It’s shocking to see internet personalities that I’ve never heard of before on the billing cards of high-profile fights. Jake Paul comes to mind. This is someone whose internet fame seems to eclipse his athletic accomplishments, but he still garners attention in a boxing match. When Jake Paul fought Nate Robinson, I had little respect for either fighter. Here was a retired basketball player and an internet celebrity fighting in the ring, a place made sacred by the likes of Sugar Ray Robinson and Mike Tyson. It felt like people were there to watch the story of the fight, to cheer for the ‘underdog’ when neither fighter was even a boxer by trade. The purity of the sport is long gone, and what remains is unproven.

Jake Paul, after handing Robinson a loss by K.O. went on to fight a former MMA fighter and won that bought as well, but any boxing fan understands that these wins mean very little. Paul hasn’t fought a real boxer before, but at least he’s fought, unlike his brother.

Logan Paul, Jake’s brother, fought Floyd Mayweather in June 2021. Logan has fought only once before, losing to fellow ‘YouTuber’ KSI. I was outraged. What happened to climbing up the ranks; having your eyes set on the championship title as you progressed past ever more challenging opponents? How is it that someone who has never even participated in a professional boxing match now gets to fight one of the greatest of all time without qualification?

The easy answer: it’s all about the money. This boxing fan, however, misses the time when it was all about the competition.

~ 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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