View from Afar

We seem to live in a time where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, schools destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and banks destroy the economy.
It’s easy to fault the institutions for our problems. Without a doubt there is some corruption and incompetence. But they are made up of people, most of whom are good and well intentioned. Look closer. How do things work in your little universe? How good of a job do you do? Oh, your boss is an idiot? That’s the problem? No, look a little closer.
Unless you’re God’s gift to whatever it is you do, in which case you should rise to nearly the top of it, then I think it’s pretty safe to assume many of the people you work with and for are competent enough to hold down their part. This is not always true, but overall if viewed objectively people are generally satisfying what their bosses want or need. So, the problem is the bosses, right?
If you’ve been in charge of people then you know how challenging that can be. You probably aren’t perfect at it. But you do pretty well, right? You get most of it right. Well, the problem must be at the top of these institutions. So the top people in the field are to blame? That can be true, but generally…I don’t think so. They didn’t get to the top by being idiots, and the people who put them there probably aren’t fools.
Isn’t it ironic how anytime we can put the word “they” in a sentence it becomes very easy to pass judgement or to see what needs to be done.
Consider that they are, perhaps, satisfying a different set of conditions than those you are aware of or believe are important. And the farther you are from the center of it the more out of whack it can look to you. From afar it’s too easy to vilify people and institutions. They tend to become things, entities, and we lose sight of the fact that they are more like us that we would feel comfortable believing. And the people right around you, who somehow seem to hold views and values similar to your own (coincidence?), support your beliefs.
Read that first sentence again. Pick the worst one (to you) of the examples. Ask yourself if in the cold light of objectivity whether you really believe they are screwed up, or are they doing what they must. Now, go do YOUR job.
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8 Responses to “View from Afar”


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