Have we lost our sense of reason? I am concerned. We get caught up in superficial statements and do not think beyond a slogan. What is worse are the chants and how some gain joy in negative statements that are not backed with a sense of law, justice, or common decency. Think of:
- “Lock her up”
- “Fake news”
- “Build that wall”
The damage to our society is deep when individuals join in without thinking about the institutions that support our society and business. Law enforcement and our court system have due process along with legal procedures to address crime. Journalists have an ethical code and rigorous process to check the facts of a story. Immigration has been a deep part of our history and innovation.
Imperfection happens. Some law enforcement officials and judges get it wrong at times and hurt people without just cause. Some journalists cut corners. Some enter our country illegally. In each case, we have a system and process to work through the wrongdoings and correct as best we can. Reason prevails.
Business leaders also are viewing these issues with concerns and speaking against gender discrimination, advocating for black lives, and acting for sensible gun guidelines. No different than NFL players. Kneeling is not an act of disrespect. It is an action to highlight the black lives lost through bad law enforcement actions. In each of these examples, business leaders and sports players intend to create a more equal and safe community.
Jumping on the bandwagon chant without thinking about its consequences hurt democracy and a better future. We can do better.
Return to Reasoning (Think again)
We need better thinking. More than thinking about what we are saying or joining in, we need to think through the impacts. Locking someone up without due process is something that almost any citizen would never want to experience. Without good journalism, keeping government and businesses accountable in the actions they take would slide our society into further distrust and dishonesty. I cannot imagine that most citizens would want a completely unaccountable government or business. With about half of our Fortune 500 companies founded by immigrants, I doubt many workers and team members would want all immigration to stop.
Without asking “what if,” these chants risk becoming a reality. We need to think about whether we would want to live in such a society or work in such a business where the chants become norms.
Renewing Our Reason (for Work, Community, and Life)
Besides better reasoning, remembering our reason is critical. Every generation is imperfect, yet many past generations have tried to create a better future for their kids, neighbors, parishioners, and business colleagues. Our reason has always been to leave our world, our community a little better than we found it. Today, our reason seems to be to score points for the here and now more than for the future betterment.
For older generations, we are wasting time if all we think about is self. Although we need to care for ourselves and our loved ones, we also need to care about how we plant the seeds for the future. If we are not leaving good seeds behind in good soil, what will that say about us? We need to do more than hunt for our present; we need to farm for our future.
Betterment is our calling.
Reasoning and Reason: A Call for Betterment
We all have a reason, and we all can reason. Tapping into our soul and mind is our renewed call to think and act. Both need to be wrapped in the good and positive things we can do. We are being challenged today. How we respond will say more about us as history eventually writes our story. I hope that our story can be written about how we experienced examples of shallowness and ignorance and, rather than surrendering to it, we rose up to restore our reasoning in addressing issues and initiatives with a focus on betterment.
Betterment is our calling. Better reasoning. Better reasons. Better people. Better leaders.
Photo by Søren Astrup Jørgensen on Unsplash