Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Dawn of Realization

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(C) - Bill Watterson

Knowledge is indeed paralyzing. You know anything that can change will change and that means you can rarely declare anything in a dead-sure way. You know there is no single truth and that means you can rarely anything in a dead-sure way. You know people can change their minds any minute with or without reason and that means you can rarely declare anything in a dead-sure way. You know what is meat for one man is poison for another and that means you can rarely declare anything in a dead-sure way.

If you zoom out for a bit and catch the world's compressed timeline, I guarantee (paradox, eh?) that you'll discover a clear pattern of people swinging from one extreme to the other at irregular intervals. What is inevitable change for some is annoying inconsistency for others because each of us thinks and operates at a different level and is in a different context. At any given point of time, there is a school of thought that believes deeply in something and another school of thought that dismisses the very same idea as absurd and impossible to accept. This holds good for almost every idea out there, be it religious, psychological, political, economical, commercial, social, medical and even the so-called scientific and mathematical ones.

In the last few days, for example, I have seen different people argue passionately for and against the same ideas. A leading business publication has two contradictory articles in the same edition, one that proposes leadership is replaceable and another that says it may be indispensable. With a lot of people arguing in favor of leading passionate lives, someone suddenly pops up and says passion may be dangerous. While many people believe that meditation is good for the mind and body, out comes someone, with data, to prove it can be dangerous. A scientific research proves that a particular food is good for health and another research says the same food can have harmful effects. A section of people believes a man is determined by his thoughts and another section believes it is better to just be.

For those holding on to both sides and playing a confusing tug-of-war on themselves, things are likely to be stressful after a while, unless they are crystal clear about the criteria to use for eventually adopting one of the views. Picking up one view and using it in moderation is a good strategy. Individual experimentation and openness to what emerges is a good strategy.

If you are a leader, being able to communicate your moderated approach and criteria may be critical. Not categorically declaring things means people may not take you seriously or may believe you are clueless. Therefore, they may not align themselves with what you need them to contribute to. However, let's not forget that these are dilemmas that arise only when talking about a certain category of perceptions, ideas and approaches. A leader would be expected, at the same time, to provide invariable and dependable support and commitment to a well-considered goal or value.

PS: I, honestly, did not start out with the intention of making this a dizzy-sounding article. I planned to stop after the first paragraph and look for something humorous to end it with. Look what I ended up writing! I'd rather settle for some ignorance and action.....for it is a blissful combination, uh? ;-)

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