Thursday, December 17, 2015

Is Change possible without admitting Error?

What a question..."Is change possible without admitting error!"  Is it an important question?

To define the discussion, let us assume that change made as a result of our own evaluation process is a change made by choice.  That is not strictly true, but space requires a condensing of the discussion. And let us also stipulate that change imposed by other people or outside events  are not "choice" driven.  With those boundaries in place, let us consider the question again.

There are two different kinds of changes we make in our lives;  First, we change to choose a better path or result; Second, we change to avoid a bad result that is contrary to our intention.  The first is an improvement and the second is an avoidance.  That is all well and good...but do we have to acknowledge that fact?  I would suggest that the change to improve the result often is not consciously acknowledged...unless it is in the business world.  If it is in the business world, that evaluation is often trumpeted as proof of ability to evaluate and succeed, so not only is it acknowledged, it is headlined to the public as well as in our own consciousness, and is not seen as labeling the initial direction as "wrong" but merely as an "interim" step in "doing the job right."

But...what if the change is imposed upon you by your superior at work?  Now the change is not your discovery or choice at all.  Yes, of course you will (it is your bosses command, after all) make the change and you will attempt to do your best to make it happen...but will your effort be the same 110% that you would have put in if it had been your discovery?  I would argue that it depends on whether you are able to admit that the first direction was in error, even if only by degree, acknowledge that fact, and commit to the new process or goal.  Otherwise, your effort will be something less than it could be.

So...when a change is imposed upon you it is logical that it will be less than optimally successful unless you can see that the original direction was in error.  Applied to the current discussion, "No, change is not possible without admitting error!"

What about our private life decisions and paths?  Those changes which we determine are appropriate...all by ourselves (or, at least not imposed by others) are likely to be successful. we acknowledge that the original path or choice was "wrong?"  No...I suggest that does not often happen.  But our subconscious mind does play games with us, doesn't it?  The "new" choice is better and the "old" one least in "no longer being optimum!"  Isn't that just a polite way of saying that the "old" choice is now seen as "wrong?"  I think the answer is, "Yes, we do acknowledge error in the original choice and once again optimize the change because we do see the improvement and accept responsibility for ourselves to make the change happen.

However, now the trick question: "Does this apply to politics and voting?"

I argue that not only does it apply, but that history proves that it applies.  Just looking at the current administration (one could make the same observations about each and every other one, with the same result) we can see that a choice of who to vote for had been made twice.  The first was by and large an acceptance of a promise for "Hope and Change" in which specifics were never provided; each of us imagined that the definitions of "Hope" and of "Change" by the candidate were the same as ours.  For many, that was clearly not so.  Yet at the next election, the result was the same.  And dialogues after the second election showed that most people were unable to admit that their expectations were in error.  The majority of voters were not able to come to terms with their own error in evaluating campaign promises and character, much less commit to any change.  Only now, after almost 7 years of facing the facts on a daily basis does it appear from polls that the majority of voters are beginning to admit "error" to any degree, no matter how small.

Many in our country prefer that our subconscious deal with admitting error and putting it in an acceptable format before bringing it to consciousness.  Perhaps all of us do!  Either way, I suggest that no change is ever possible or successful without admitting error in the preceding choice, and denial only slows the correction.

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