It happens to be Election Day in the United States the day this goes out. I would be remiss in my civic duty if I therefore didn’t start by reminding you that your vote does count. And…if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain about what happens. Saying they are all the same is really a sign of Confident Ignorance on your part. Confident Ignorance as saying they are all the same really means you haven’t spent any time thinking about the candidates and discovering what they really believe and have done, but have bought into the mass of punditry based on personal bias or economic gain.
I always find it interesting that the majority of Americans live in the center of the political spectrum. As a country we’re moderate people who really would like to see competent elected officials working together to come up with solutions that we all can accept. Not too much this way or too much that way.
Then there are the rabid partisans who occupy the ends of the political spectrum. The take no prisoner crowd. The compromise is losing crowd. The my way or the highway crowd.
There turn out to be many less of these rabid partisans than most people believe. They just scream the loudest and suck up all the oxygen in the debate. And their methods are destructive rather than constructive. The rest of us suffer the consequences.
Who votes? The rabid. Who sits home? The rest of us.
Make a difference. Get out and vote. Even if you feel it’s the lessor of two evils, at least you’ve moved us away from the worst that can happen. And these days, every little bit helps.
You can’t see this, but I just sat and looked at what just flowed without pause into this missive. It really isn’t what I was thinking about when I sat down to write. And yet, it turns out to be a great introduction to what I actually wanted to share.
Cliff Story, he of Story’s Garage, is quite the Philosopher Mechanic. When I take my SAAB to visit his little cinder block garage sitting in the woods surrounded by dead SAABs, we’ve gotten into spending a bit of time figuring out how to make the world a better place.
A few days ago he shared this with me: “Doubt is a conversation; certainty is a closed door,” Bill Maher. Yes, it was in response to my last missive, Beware the Confident Ignorant.
As you expect, this led to our discussing how in the business world so many problems come from those convinced of rightness of their ideas in spite of everything, even much evidence to the contrary. When you run into someone coming from a position of certainty, there is no conversation for how can you discuss something with someone convinced they have the final answer?
Doubt now, doubt is a wonderful thing. Doubt opens up the opportunity for thoughtful discourse. Doubt leads to the opportunity for sharing of ideas, for looking for new and different information, for a coming together of people to build a common understanding.
Doubt often leads to growth while certainly often is a dead end.
Beware certainty, in business or politicians. Beware those who are so set in their beliefs that they are unwilling to hear other viewpoints. Beware those who in their arrogance have closed their minds to the ideas and interests of others.