Often, the cautious, incremental, conservative, moderate, careful approach is the least appropriate and stupidest response, under the circumstances. It’s the mindset that leads to the wrong answers or to a lack of effective action. This kind of approach leads to worse outcomes, not better.
It’s not reasonable or sane to apply a “steady as she goes” rubric, if it’s really just fear cloaked in language that tries to dignify that fear with a veneer of legitimacy. How much of the measured thinking is simply inaction in an acceptable dressing? What we, as a society, consider to be “prudent wisdom” is often nothing more than our collective paralysis in the face of frightening scenarios, but painted with fiercer and more palatable markings.
In fact, to imagine that the nay-saying, sceptical, wait-and-see-what-happens, let’s-not-do-anything-too-rash way of thinking and acting is not just plain fear, made manifest, is perhaps the most insane belief system conceivable. We fool ourselves comprehensively, when we fail to call it what it really is. Violently and vehemently defending this way of acting, as many in our society often do, when confronted about it, is little more than the insane, irrational, wild-eyed lashing-out of desperate, cornered animals.
Many times, the radical, revolutionary rethink, from fundamentals, or the discomforting, discomfiting, disruptive innovation, is the most rational response and ironically, also the safest, in the long run. Doing something big, different, serious and permanent is precisely the best course of action available to us. Sometimes, tearing it all up and starting again, no matter how much we’ve invested in the current course of action so far, is the only solution that can really work, or make a visible, meaningful difference.
We’ve been conditioned to avoid rocking the boat or upsetting the apple cart, for fear of the consequences, but it’s just fear. When you’re programmed for obedience and compliance, from a very young age, your capacity to turn and face the strange is severely impeded. That’s why we all wear suits and ties, in muted, understated colours, in order to safeguard our jobs, rather than expressing our own creative spirits through the colours we choose to wear and the styles of clothing that give us most freedom of bodily movement and comfort. Individuality is treated the same way a leak in the bottom of a boat is treated. It’s a threatening problem, to be covered over as soon as possible.
As a member of the compliant majority, our first instinct will always be to freeze and wait for someone in authority to give the orders. Where it all falls apart is that the authorities are drawn from that same pre-programmed-for-obedience stock as the rest of us and so, wait for the wisdom of some non-existent higher authority, before taking an effective decision. We’re paralysed, collectively, by our crazy, fixated desire to do nothing until we’re told to. Humanity stands, looking up at the sky helplessly, as it falls down. Those that benefit most from things staying the way they are most often rush to vilify any of us that want to shake things up.
Should you obey them, for the sake of appearing to be reasonable? Or should you take your dose of fear in moderation?