On the Morality of Dissent
“I want you to get MAD. You’ve got to say ‘I’m a human being goddamit! My life has meaning!’
…I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
~ Howard Beale
A long, long time ago, Shakespeare wrote:
“Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?”
A question with which I struggle on an almost daily basis.
As I have mentioned before, I am driven by the inordinate waste of human potential in typical “knowledge-work” businesses – waste, in large part, due to what Rightshifting calls the “Analytic Mindset“.
~ Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980),
media critic & writer
The Analytic mindset is so ubiquitous, pervasive and common-place that, to paraphrase Marshall McLuhan, I don’t know who discovered the Analytic Mindset, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t an Analytic thinker (which is most of the planet’s population).
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” ~ Nelson Henderson
I wish to see things change, and I do what I can to plant seedlings under which, in time, folks may take some shade. In working towards common goals alongside other folks, conflict is inevitable, particularly when world-views collide. And like Patrick Lencioni I believe that positive conflict is essential in making progress.
I do not enjoy conflict, hence I am conflicted. One might fairly call that cognitive dissonance. :}
The truth is never pure and rarely simple – Oscar Wilde
Nevertheless, I take heart from the story of Martin Luther King, Jr., and in particular:
The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Regardless of what is said, I understand and truly believe that everyone is doing the best they can, given what they know, how they see the world, the handicaps of their experiences, and the situation at hand.
If You See Buddha On the Road, Kill Him
Given the oft-repeated suggestion that
“Folks should think for themselves, in context”
then dissent seems not only inevitable, but
’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished.
I for one applaud folks who stick their necks out and share the way they see the world, however differently that might be, just so long as it doesn’t get personal.
In summary, I believe we all have a duty to dissent. Compliance and conformation merely lends support to the status quo.
What do you think?