“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead)
“Be the change you want to see in this world” (Gandhi)
There is an idea virus within American culture that has the power to destroy. The idea is that technology and innovation are fundamentally good. Whether you consider yourself a technologist, an entrepreneur or a scientist (all labels I use to identify myself at times) I’d like to propose an alternative to to this idea and an inoculation against the virus.
Observation #1: Innovation amplifies whatever values and beliefs are held by the innovator.
For instance, if I value my time, I might invent the first clock, or start a business to create time-management products, or devote my life to unlocking deep mysteries of the physics of time. And if I believe clean drinking water is a fundamental human right, I might invent a new method of water purification, or …
Based on an informal assessment and polling I’ve done recently, here’s what we fear:
- LOSING ONESELF
- Death / Pain / Insignificance
- BEING WRONG
- Self-Exploration / Failure / Change
- Being Found Out / Self-Expression / Lying
- LOSING ONESELF
- Power / Anticipation / Fear-Itself
- Intimacy / Just Doing It / (Lack of) Freedom
- THE UNCONTROLLABLE
- Disaster / Crisis / Unknown-Unknowns
- Being Unworthy / Unmet Expectation / Meaninglessness
- Unfairness / Inequality / Injustice
- Doing it Wrong / Shame / Guilt
Each of us has a unique profile of what fear is depending on how we related to various value dimensions (intrinsic, extrinsic and systemic). For me the scariest are: (1) Unknown-Unknowns (2) Power (3) Being Wrong (4) Self-Expression (5) Injustice
How about you?…
Are you someone who has been given (and accepted) responsibility for someone else’s well-being? Maybe you are an elected official? A board member? A parent? A friend? If so, you may resonate with the following realization I just had about my own successes and failures in the role of Representative.
I used to believe that what a Representative does is to act and react as if they were the one being represented. I felt like my job was to get inside their head, and channel them, sort of like a medium or a conduit. The problem with this though is it always ends badly. Why? Because it’s an impossible job.
Nobody can speak for you, as if they were you. Sure, if you know one another really, really well, then at times it can seem as though they read your mind, know what’s in your heart. But the times I have been most frustrated in any relationship is when the other person believes and acts …