Sunday, May 21, 2006

We're succeeding at doing nothing

It is better to try something and fail than to try nothing and succeed.
- Dr Robert Schuller

A recent favourite song of mine is "The Living Years," by Mike and the Mechanics. The opening line is "Every generation blames the one before." The song goes on to discuss the generation gap and how many families split over their differences while not realizing what they hold valuable in common until one of them dies.

Why does every generation blame the one before? First of all, it's because that is the generation of adults that has been in charge of their country and is most readily at hand. It's the generation that exemplifies the faults and failures of the society it controls.

But it's also because, as Dr. Schuller said, the generation of our parents complained about the faults and failures of their world, then did nothing about them. They tried nothing and succeeded. What a marvellous measuring stick for achievement!

Today the militaries of many countries are in Iraq and Afghanistan, trying to stop the spread of terrorism that is so much like terror movies of past decades that its shocking. Many people in their home countries want to bring their soldiers back. "It's not our fight," they say.

They want to do nothing and succeed. When the terrorist tactics that today plague many parts of the world strike the home countries of these people, they will again do little. But be afraid. They're good at that. Doing nothing and being afraid, it's their idea of being successful.

We now know how to prevent poverty, starvation, many diseases, most major crime, divorce, many forms of mental illness, addictions and many other ills of our modern world. It's all explained in Turning It Around. The answers, the solutions, are right there. It's simply a matter of writing the legislation and the school curriculum to match it. We have experts to do that. These professionals do it every day. They just need to know what to write.

But most people are doing nothing about it. Not even so much as inviting their friends, neighbours and workmates to join the TIA group so that something can get started in many countries.

Doing nothing and succeeding.

If you are one of those, at least don't be foolish enough to fault those who are trying to prevent an already international tragedy, terrorism, from spreading around the globe.

Turning It Around could stop that too. And bring peace to the world.

But we're all too busy minding our own business. Doing nothing, and succeeding.

Congratulations on your success.

Some of us won't settle for that. Some of us are trying very hard to make life better. For the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, for whom terrorism is their business because it has destroyed their countries.

And for you. Your welfare is my business. I wish you felt the same way about the welfare of others.

Success at doing nothing is nothing to brag about when you reach the end of your life.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to do what's right, even if we fail. We will succeed at what's right eventually if we keep trying.
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