Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Time of Great Changes

The hardest thing to react to, are those changes that never succeed in crossing the threshold that demands that one changes one’s responses to them -- dramatically, decisively and effectively; instead, the usual response is to complain incessantly without doing anything about it. And so, these matters continue to get worse -- and one thinks there is nothing he can do about it but complain. The reason for that is because all the premises and assumptions haven’t changed, but when one is willing or forced to question those very premises and assumptions about life itself, then many things become possible, easy, and accomplished already.

A very typical problem of contemporary life is traffic congestion -- and its insistence that what is required is even more capacity, rather than the realization that there is already plenty of capacity that is being underutilized -- for which we think nothing can be done but to build even more capacity to handle peak loads, instead of distributing those demands over a greater window of service. That is usually the cheap solution and more effective one -- than simply building more parks, schools, universities, and transportation systems.

Most people are unaware that our recreational resources like state parks, are basically unused except for the weekends -- but not realizing this, the tendency is to believe we need even more parks on the weekends, that would be unused during the weekdays. So while on average we think we have made the situation better, we have also made it worse too -- in the waste of those resources, except for those peak hours, or days of usage.

Of course some agency could point that out to people or the reporting agencies could do that as a public service, but they’ve gotten the idea into their heads that their “objectivity,” is a higher value than their “usefulness,” so they think that their job is to observe and report on the problem, rather than prevent such events and catastrophes from occurring.

But how one observes, affects the outcome of every event -- because observing is also the context of environment in which things happen. A speaker doesn’t just give the same speech regardless of the listening capacity of his audience, even if they do not say much -- because their attentiveness which goes far beyond the words actually spoken, determine the intelligence of that exchange.

That energy and awareness is palpable -- but only to those still tuned to such sensitivities and sensibilities. Some people will drone on despite nobody listening -- and in fact think that it is a contest between the speaker and the listener to prevail over the other, rather than the objective of achieving a mutual understanding. That is the old communication style still being practiced by those who have no idea of the purpose of communication -- but are determined to do their own thing no matter what others are doing and determined to do.

Most thoughtful and intelligent people avoid such forums -- because they know better what authentic communications are. Meanwhile, the pomp and circumstances of government and community forums continue to go on whether people are interested in them or not.