As a writer, adviser, and just as a human being, I’m very much in favour of being able to speak freely. But I also think that my writing, advising, and even my being, is not completely free, nor should it be.
The trouble is we quite enjoy this behaviour, and I’m guilty of acting this way too. It took Piers (MD of Sales Director Solutions) and I three months of free speech, more accurately described as “frankly exchanging views” before we resolved the issue that is vitally important to our society (well OK to Flexible Directors): with whom and how we should direct our sales efforts? Belief in the fundamental rightness of our cases necessitated much sighing and expressions of disbelief until the spark of friendship and mutual care that had started a different conversation, about rugby of course, went sideways into resolving this festering sore in a way that was frankly obvious if we had only taken the time to listen, rather than prepare to speak, and reminded ourselves that we both wanted the best for us, just in ways that seemed irreconcilable.
So if we can actually take something positive from the horrible, tragic appalling scenes that we witnessed recently can it be that we need to work hard at listening to others and that the further away from us they are, the harder we need to listen? For only then will we get solutions that work, that produce a win-win, the only way that we can really move forward, and be at peace.
Otherwise, so long as we fail to listen properly, not only will we be in conflict but we will continue to get disappointing leaders who, seeing that this is the way that electors behave, say anything that sounds good to a casual listener, who is preparing to have their say. They promise us things that they can’t deliver, such as an EU that is in perfect harmony with the UK, or a perfect NHS with no changes either to taxation, or to the organisation itself.
If that’s where we’re going, then put a fiver on Al Murray, the pub landlord becoming MP of Thanet. He understands this “folly politics” and has demonstrated it by devising the ultimate in election winning promises: invisible wind farms.