Thoughts Born of Tragedy ...
..."history may judge us to be the real bully if, in the our rush to punish someone, we act in ways contrary to our core beliefs and values as a nation"...
Speaking as one who is closer to the end of life than the beginning, the observation that "those who do not know or understand history, are doomed to repeat it" takes on new relevance for me. Events of the last week have given us all reason to reflect and try to sort out meaningful lessons.
Here are a few observations I believe have meaning for all of us... both privately and in our business affairs:
BULLIES DON'T WIN...
Throughout history the bullies of the world have always lost. Gandhi was right! They may bloody our nose with a sneak attack or a lucky punch but, in the long run, they are always defeated by the forces of good and right. Tyrants down through the ages have had to learn this lesson the hard way. The Hitler's of the world have never prevailed. Neither have predatory corporations or governments.
COALITIONS WORK...SHORT TERM...
Building coalitions are effective to achieve goals...short term. They rarely work long term.
While it is very possible (and desirable) to bring divergent groups together to battle a common foe...that same coalition will decay when the mutual adversary is overcome. Disparate groups will melt away as their own self-interest begins to resurface.
This is as true in business and private organizations as it is in public and world affairs.
BULLIES & TYRANTS DON'T ALWAYS CARRY KNIVES...
Modern bullies wear designer clothing and use computers. They understand the power of politics, sound bites, and photo opportunities. They are masters at using the tools of mass communications to advance sinister goals. Yes...this includes the use of the internet.
They run large corporations, foundations, financial institutions, think-tanks, and hold our highest public offices. They are subtle. They are deceptive. They are dangerous because, like Hitler, they understand the human need for security and order. They understand how to make actions that steal our freedom... appear to be logical and necessary.
They are comfortable and proficient working with hidden agendas which promote their own self-interests. They are practiced at turning dramatic tragic events, or temporary conditions, into building blocks for their own personal financial gain or extensions of their power base.
The antidote against these poisonous souls... is a mechanism for totally free, uncensored, exchange of ideas and thoughts... the internet!
BEWARE OF KNEE-JERK REACTIONS...
Never has careful, measured, thought been more important than now.
When a bully bloodies our nose our first reaction is righteous anger and indignation. This is both normal and right. We should be angry. We should feel indignation.
This same anger and indignation, however, can lead to a rashness of response which plays right into the hands of the forces stacked against us.
If we attack a perceived foe, without indisputable evidence of their guilt and culpability, we have become no better than they.
Indeed, in the eyes of the world, history may judge us to be the real bully if, in the our rush to punish someone, we act in ways contrary to our core beliefs and values as a nation.
The world is watching. We now have the opportunity to prove what a great nation we truly are. It will take patience, great judgement, and a careful measuring of the facts before we act, if we are to be what we have always purported to be... a nation grounded in fairness, freedom, respect for human rights, responsible judgement, and real justice.
Editorial Commentary Written--9/17/2001 ęCopyright 2001-2005 Thom Reece All Rights Reserved
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