Sunday, January 03, 2010

Radical New Ideas, or the Return of Old, Sensible Ones?

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Radical New Ideas, or the Return of Old, Sensible Ones?

Dear Friends:

Ideas constantly go in and out of fashion, depending upon the culture and concerns of the times. Many of these ideas are simply too seemingly radical to be acceptable given the prevailing and socially entrenched beliefs and protocols of the times. Many of them simply go out of fashion because they become part of the body of conventional wisdom, and they no longer need to be stated.

Human Beings always fancy the notion of progress, and so they tend to leave both the good and the bad teachings and principles behind, without much discrimination or is almost as if "old" means "obsolete" and "new" means "improved" -- that is unless we are dealing with antiques.

How about revisiting these ideas?:

1. Instead of "networking," let's have socializing, introductions, and making new friends;

2. Instead of "connecting," let's have building bonds of trust through becoming familiar and investing in getting to know eachother;

3. Instead of "collaboration," let's have a team effort toward a common goal -- sharing the work, and sharing in the rewards;

4. Instead of "Internationalism," let's have global conversation, communion and sharing;

5. Instead of "celebrating diversity" (which is pallid and empty slogan, with neither teeth nor heart), let's become educated about eachother, find our areas of commonality and our areas of difference, let our great areas of commonality become the common denominator to create stronger bonds of respect and friendship between us, while we capitalize on our fascinating areas of difference by seeing them in terms of complementarity, greater knowledge, greater opportunity and an expanded set of survival skills to be shared by all. Maybe we could invest some time in getting to know eachother, instead of forming little ghettos of "pure" and stagnant culture. Maybe we should befriend eachother instead of begrudgingly tolerating eachother.

Perhaps we should cease our failed habit of conjoining the terms of discrimination and bigotry. Let's let bigotry be closed-mindedness and prejudicial exclusionism, while discrimination could simply mean (as it did many, many years ago), making the best choices. Remember phrases like: "Only the discriminating eye can see the difference in quality."?

We can keep the same contemporary terminology (after all, new terms are fun -- a good lingovation always warms my heart), but let's re-evaluate the meaning and significance behind these terms. Let's strive to keep them in mind, too.


Douglas Castle

p.s. Maybe we should also bear in mind that "progress" is movement toward an objective. How can we indiscriminately refer to any movement or change as "progress" when it might actually be taking us away from our proper trajectory? And, more importantly, how can we progress toward a goal which we have not clearly identified and agreed upon together?

Braintenance - Stay razor sharp.
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