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Home > Blog > Today's Thought: Paying the Price
Out of Our Minds
Monday, January 10, 2005 2:56 PM
Today's Thought: Paying the Price
Anita Sharpe on Making a Difference

'Despite its rhetoric, the culture does not value independent action. The culture wants to ask the family of 'How' questions: What does it cost? How long does it take? Where else has this worked? And we may have no good answers to these questions. When we say 'Yes' instead, we acknowledge that acting on what we choose costs us something, which is what gives it value. If there were no price to saying 'Yes,' to acting in the face of our doubts and meager methodology, then the choice we make would have no meaning.' -- Peter Block (from the answer to how is yes)


2 comments

Christopher Bailey - 1/11/2005 10:04:32 AM
I just devoured The Answer to How is Year in one sitting on New Year's Eve - what an incredible way to prepare for the next year.

Our culture values answers over questions, action over thinking, fast over slow. At the same time, I think we've succumbed to the idea that our ideas and actions have to be correct with no loose ends, conforming to popular expectations. Put all of this together and we constrict ourselves and diminish all that we have to offer. But, its the 'why?' questions that Block talks about that reaffirms our purpose and humanity. Asking deeper questions and going against the grain has always been a risk, but the value is far greater than going along with the crowd. It just may be that the value is not immediately understood; it might be our children's or grandchildren's generation that understands the true value of what we think and do today.
Curt Rosengren - 1/10/2005 3:28:53 PM
I couldn't agree more with his comment on this culture not valuing independent action. For all the noise we make (especially here in the US) about individuality and doing it our way, in reality that's only true if your individual approach happens to fit in with the dominant view of how things 'should be,' how you 'should be,' and what you 'should do.' We only acknowledge the validity and value of the individual path if that path gets big enough and successful enough to make an impact on 'the way things are done.' Then we call it visionary.

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