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“Sir, What is the secret of your success?” a reporter asked a bank president.
“And, sir, what are they?”
“And how do you make good decisions?”
“And sir, what is that?”
“And how do you get Experience?”
“And, sir, what are they?”
“Bad decisions.” Unknown author
So what would a new decision really be, one that we all can accept as a transition whilst we’re coming off our old decision-making process and structure? I’m not talking politics, religion, philosophy, psychology or whatever. I’m taking doing. This is not an abstract issue, it’s very concrete.
Winston Churchill said, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” Nonetheless, how about starting with the democratic structure and the notion of freedom?
People need to be informed to be democratic. That’s risky because being informed is one thing, interpretation is another. We need to remember that the democratic practice is actually the practice of interpretation. If we remember the role of interpretation, it may be a lot tougher to be arrogant about our positions.
Okay, we need a free press so folks can be freely informed. The problem is the press is exactly like people—nowadays a lot of press folks tend to confuse interpretations as facts.
We need to be free. But freedom comes with boundaries. We can’t get all crazy and start yelling about loss of freedom when we discover boundaries.
And we also need the freedom to be wrong. Wrong is a boundary, not a jail sentence. Being wrong doesn’t mean lesser standing—it means being wrong. Sure, if one is wrong a lot, that pattern may result in a lesser standing, but we have to think temporary rather than permanent. Look, it’s better to be wrong about something than to ignore it and have that “it” eat us. And along with the freedom to be wrong, we have to allow the freedom to recover. That’s a system of checks and balances. Yep, that’s inherent in our system of government, but one we need to practice it on an individual level.
Okay, what have we got so far? How about a hierarchy that is not a hierarchy unless it has to be. There is no alpha unless there is chaos and the arrow of direction has to be reset. Once reset, the alphas back off. In the first place, alphas rule because the we says so, not because the alpha does. And the we has to keep watching to ensure the “alpha” is not becoming the Lord.
We have to have the right to nitpick, be skeptical, and bellow. But let’s up the ante and recognize we have a certain stewardship. We have a responsibility to speak up, but we also have a responsibility to try and get it right, not to just try and exercise our rights.
We need a new perspective about equality. Hello—we are not all equal. Get over it. Some folks are better and more practiced at some things than others. Some folks have more stuff. Some have more space. Some are smarter in ways others aren’t. We cannot allow ourselves to think we are all equal when what we mean is we are all human. It’s too confusing. Here’s the deal as far as I can tell: We are not more or less human, but we are more or less studied—as in the degree in which we examine the nuances of living and being. In that sense, title matters. But it behooves us to remember that title is supposed to reflect being studied and nuanced beings, not that we are better or worse human beings.
We need to realize we cannot become anything we want—we’ve got some limitations. If you’re seven-foot tall, forget becoming a fighter pilot. If you’re really short, forget becoming a basketball star. Let’s embrace limitations, not to argue for our limitations, but to expand our freedoms. How’s that work? If one knows their capabilities and their opportunities, freedom opens up. If one doesn’t know their limitations, they could do the equivalent of jumping off a cliff and try to fly with their arms.
Finally and of great importance I think for a new human organizational structure: The exercise of banishment is not allowed. If we want to be something other than an extension of a chimpanzee troop, we cannot allow someone to be ostracized. Yep—no one! We may have to keep certain folks away from those they would harm, but not away from those that could help.
All right, how do we do all of this? Make good decisions and practice, practice, and practice to get the necessary experience. One thing we should know by now is that bad decisions can lead to better experiences and better decisions. So, let’s get better organized. We can do it slowly so we don’t go into organizational shock, but we have to do it. And there is only one thing standing in our way: Us.