Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What limits us most...

My plan was to use this blog as a vehicle to discuss issues facing us as a civilization, and in looking at my past 2 postings, I think I definitely need to focus less attention on government, and more on social issues. With that said though, I think that government does an excellent job of giving us an extreme example to use when illustrating what things are wrong.

Today's topic is something that affects all of us, and I can honestly state that it is a topic which has had the most profound effect on me over the past year.

I'll start with a question... You don't have to answer, but if you do, I think you'll find the results surprising.

When was the last time you were disappointed?

Now if you think of that time and the circumstances surrounding it, I could probably guess that with very few exceptions, it was because you had an expectation for something that was not met.

We're an interesting culture, when you look at our language, we think that we can achieve success by exercising control over situations and over others. Am I right?
The problem is that we choose to exercise this idea of control on 2 things over which we have no control at all.

We attempt to control the actions of others and we try and control outcomes of situations, and it is from both of these that we get disappointment.

Without exception one of the greatest friends I have works as an attorney for an organization. The job of being an attorney is typically one where you aim for the best result possible. Every attorney wants to win the case. So what they do is begin with the plan of winning, and then takes steps to try and make that result happen.

This philosophy is often accredited to a philosopher by the name of Makieveli (The spelling is likely different though). His belief was that the ends justify the means. In other words it doesn't matter what you do to get a result, as long as the result is the one you want, that's all that matters.

I used to think this way, but when you think about this, is it the way things should be? Obviously not, because the world is somewhat of a mess right now.
I'd like to cite an example if I could...

I think we all know about the case of OJ Simpson. The story everyone knows, is that he killed his wife and her boyfriend and then was let off by the jury on the case. I am pretty sure the guy did it, as is most of America. The story you don't hear is that those working on the case knew he had don't it too, and in order to ensure that he was found guilty, they messed with the evidence to ensure that he would be found guilty.

Based on the fact that evidence was tampered with the jury made the right decision in not finding him guilty. Now before you write me a nasty comment, upset that a killer was let free, let's look at another example which has come to light in the last few weeks... Last year, some La Cross players from back east where accused of raping a stripper. During the course of the investigation the prosecutor come upon DNA evidence which would have exonerated those accused of this crime. In this case too, he messed with the evidence so that he could get the result he wanted. Fortunately for the young men accused of this crime the truth came out.
There is no doubt more that could be shared on this topic, and I will try and address some of that in the coming weeks, but if I could make 1 point from all of this today...

People are free to choose their actions; Results take care of themselves, and neither have any business being messed with by us. If we try the result is usually negative for all involved, and in many ways, we are limited in what we can achieve.

Do you want real control over your life? Worry about the process instead. Treat everyone with respect and ensure that you conduct your life in an honest fashion. When you do this, those around you will have more reason to trust you, you will likely trust them more, and in the end, the results will take care of themselves.


  1. Good points.

    I agree that we need to me moral and fair in how we conduct our lives. I also agree that the means is as important as the end.

    I am afraid however, it may be difficult (if not impossible) to succeed (financially and in your career) while being honest and respectful.

    For example, the lawyers meesing with evidence. If they don't they could lose their case and possibly lose their jobs.

    I know a lot of people in the professional world who have to bend the rules and cheat a little if they want to survive.

    I agree that idealy we should be honest and fair in our dealings, but do you think that in the world we live in a man can really thrive without "messing with" the rules/laws?

    Do you honestly believe one man can make a difference?

    I would like to think that is true, but sadly, I don't know...

  2. I used to think much the same way as you... I figured as long as I wasn't hurting anyone, a little fudging here and there was necessary to survive. I think it is something that our entire civilization has wrapped itself around.

    I mentioned a lawyer friend of mine at the beginning of the blog, but forgot to tie it all in at the end. His job is resolving cases for a large non-profit organization. A few years back, he decided to go against the guidelines he had been given to resolve cases, and conduct each case completely honesty, regardless of the outcome.

    The results have his superiors baffled... Not only is he going against their guidelines, but he is saving significantly more money than he should be, and each case he deals with, everyone gets left with a good feeling.

    You almost have to see it to believe it, but eveyone who tries it out, experiences similar results.

    The whole trick, is not to try an manipulate the outcome, but rather to ensure the process has 100% integrity and the results take care of themselves.

    Much easier said than done, but I think it is an idea that could potentially revolutionize out society.