Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 19 - The Politics of a Burning Building: Introduction



 


"Politics - I don't know why, but they seem to have a tendency to separate us, to keep us from one another, while nature is always and ever making efforts to bring us together."

~Sean O'Casey





Day 19 - The Politics of a Burning Building: Introduction

Can the behavior of one small group, or even one individual, affect the outcome of whether or not an entire population can work through a crisis? Can one individual's decision to act in self-interest at the expense of others really cause a reaction so far reaching that it effects the entire population in negative ways?

The answer is YES, and it will help in our understanding of why it is that actual progress and change to a better world has become so difficult, and why there is a tendency to favor self-interest and survival instead of mutual support and cooperation when all indications show that mutual support and cooperation yield far superior results for everyone.

Tonight I will introduce the next segment of the Politician's Journey to Life - The Politics of a Burning Building

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The Burning Building -

Imagine that you are in a burning building along with a thousand other people, and there is only one exit. Above this exit is a sign that says "Survival". This exit to "Survival" is only big enough to fit two regularly sized people at a time, or one large person at a time, or one person with a disability that requires that they use a wheelchair or be assisted by others in order to pass.

You realize that there is limited time before the structure collapses above you and the fires engulf the entire building. If everyone finds a way to cooperate and calmly proceed through the exit to "Survival", moving at a reasonable pace and ensuring that people who require assistance are helped along the way so that they do not become blockages for the rest - it is likely that everyone will make it out safely to "Survival" with some time and effort.

If the people do not cooperate in consideration of each other's common need to get to "Survival" and adapting as a group to meet that need, then there will be chaos, disorder, and panic. Energy will be wasted trying to find or force a path to "Survival" and this will ensure casualties, as well as risking the fires spreading more quickly during the commotion. But those who are first to act on instinct and can fight best, will get through "Survival" first and ensure they are not left behind in the chaos.

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Here we are facing several dimensions of the struggle for survival and how individual actions and decisions, if not understood or taken to a context of what is best for all, can lead to negative consequences that affect not only the individual, but the entire group.

In the blogs to follow we will be working with the Politics of the Burning Building as the backdrop for setting an analogy for what we as humanity are facing in this very moment.

We will have a specific look at the following dimensions which are characterized in our story in the following way -

The People Seeking Survival - This is the dimension of the average person who is now aware of the present danger and must make decisions as to how they will ensure that they can get to "Survival". This is the common majority who now face a crisis that is getting worse by the moment, yet the path to "Survival" is not clear.

The Survivors - These are the people who do whatever they must in order to ensure their own survival, and have determined that the entire group will likely NOT cooperate and unless they fight and compete with others to get to "Survival", they will end up trapped in the burning building.

The Keepers of the Peace - This would be those who realize that there must be order if all are to survive, but there are those who refuse to cooperate and must be forced to comply for the good of all, and at times must be forceful and confront those who refuse.

The Unfortunate - When the fire broke out and the other means of escape became impossible except through the single door through "Survival", many were in positions far away from that exit, and will have the most difficult time making it through, and will likely not make it at all unless all cooperate and move together smoothly, or unless they become more ruthless than the Survivors.

The Fortunate Deciders - These are the people who are closest to the exit, and are in a position to either stay and ensure that the passage remains unblocked and assist those who require assistance and work toward a calm evacuation of all to "Survival", or choose to only assist those who will give them favors in return once they have reached "Survival".

In the blog to follow we will begin with The People Seeking Survival and have a look at how and why the survival instinct and making snap decisions based on self-interest has been so engrained and automated, without us seeing or considering the full consequences of moving in a reaction of fear instead of moving within self-direction.

Stay tuned as we walk the Politics of the Burning Building and see HOW all can reach the exit of "Survival" not only as a group, but in a way that ensures none will suffer or be left behind.


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