I went to physical therapy yesterday. I met Shira, a very competent professional. As we were working on my hands, I began to recount my experiences as a child, and she said, “I don’t want to hear it.”
I told her five children die every day from parental abuse and that was the particular brick wall I was up against. I recount my experiences to accentuate the plight of children today, and you don’t want to hear about it—there is no we. We could do something to alleviate the plight of children today, but as long as we remain you and I, nothing will get done. We are a force.
I stopped for breakfast at a local diner after PT. My waitress was Liza. I told her I was a blogger and I was thinking of doing a blurb on I, You, We. She brightened as she immediately grasped my drift. I don’t remember her exact words, but the gist of it was that she tried to make suggestions to administration minions regarding positive changes for issues regarding her tin can (Her term of endearment for her place of employment.) She became afraid.
“I love this tin can, “ she said.
She was speaking of the diner I was sitting in, which was run by a local college.
“I’m afraid of losing it.”
She becomes the I proposing changes; minions at the college don’t want to hear it—the collective you; we does not exist for Liza. If you promote risk, it’s a problem.
Robert Cormack’s post Why Ideas Die In the Boardroom keeps invading my mind. Its appeal is relentless. He writes:
“A few years back, one “innovation group,” wrote that companies should include “black sheep” in their meetings. “These people will force new ideas and inject creativity,” they said. Some companies did just that, regretting it afterward. The “groupies” as I like to call them, didn’t like “black sheep” or new ideas and voiced their concerns to management. The “black sheep” were fired, and the groupies went back to “consensus building.””
You can read the whole post here: https://www.bebee.com/producer/@robert-cormack/why-ideas-die-in-the-boardroom I suggest you do.
I suspect Liza and I are those black sheep. We are somewhat expert on our topics. I can spout you the facts and figures on child abuse and deaths, and Liza knows well the inner workings of her tin can.
But I rail against my suspicion in that only a certain bottom line is considered, and I believe that to be monetary. It would cost money to cut down the number of child deaths.
Liza knows of issues that should be changed regarding her beloved tin can. I don’t know the details, but I suspect her ideas would involve investment.
I think groupthink looks at the immediate bottom line, whereas the Black Sheep look at change as an investment. My oldest son surely was looked at as a throwaway. But with investment, he became an asset.
Groupthink—the collective you—promotes the bottom line. There are parameters set as to how far they will go. They promote norms for the unthinkable. There are sacrifices to be made for these norms. Some of those sacrifices are human beings.
Are we any different than those cultures that actively sacrificed victims to their Gods? We wear business suits and attire and say this makes us different. Is not withholding investment the same as plunging in the knife or throwing someone into a volcano? Or is it the lack of proximity to the result that soothes us into saying say it ain’t so.
In Liza’s case, it was apparent she feared the demise of her diner. Not a bloody human death, but a death all the same. I could see she wants to scream for the changes she knows should be made, but I could also see she fears for her job if she does so. So she sacrifices the future to maintain her todays. She fears becoming a sacrifice.
When did we start sacrificing WE? The answer is always. Human Beings are pack animals regardless of the clothes in which we adorn ourselves. Alpha bitches and dogs destroy the young of lessers to promote their own young. WE are no different. Dissenters are outcasts—doomed to either capitulate or roam alone.
I say we slash the pronouns I, you, and me. Let’s live in a world of an inclusive WE and fuck the monetary bottom line. Let’s evolve beyond being pack animals and strive for the betterment of all rather than the chosen few. Let’s learn to think for ourselves instead of acting like cows being driven to the trough. Let’s not lose ourselves to the slaughterhouse of ideas and societal innovation. WE can get better.
Copyright 2017 Joyce Bowen
About the Author: Joyce Bowen is a freelance writer and public speaker. Inquiries can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sobre el autor: Joyce Bowen es un escritor independiente y orador público. Las consultas pueden hacerse en email@example.com