Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Mavericks

Mahwah, New Jersey, USA

May 4, 2011



"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." ... Margaret Mead

This essay, Mavericks, was written at the same time as


I appreciate and resonate with Margaret Mead's sentiment expressed in her quote which opens this essay. It expresses what's pivotal for who we are as human beings. It expresses what's pivotal for our future  as human beings. In particular, it expresses what's pivotal for what's possible  for us human beings. Furthermore, it lays bare what's at the heart of the matter for us human beings, which is it's we  who have the power to not only invent  new possibilities for ourselves and for humanity for our future but also to make these new possibilities real.

So if I get out of step with Margaret for a moment, it's not because of disrespect. Rather it's in looking with her at the source of new possibilities for humanity, I'm inspired to make this observation and to start this inquiry:

What if  the world is already alright?  If the world is already alright then there's nothing we need to change  about it. What if the world is already alright and it's just we  who simply don't get  it's already alright? What if we not getting it's already alright is the only  reason why we all don't act consistent with "it's already alright"?

Now ... if this point of view were true, if it were true the world is already alright, if it were true there's nothing we need to change about it, if it were true it's just we who don't get it's already alright, if it were true we not getting it's already alright is the only reason why we all don't act consistent with "it's already alright", then I would say this to Margaret: "Margaret, I get what you say. I respect what you say. I'm inspired by what you say. In fact I love  what you say. So allow me to look with you at the same result  from a slightly different perspective. How about: don't  change the world (that's right: don't  change the world). It's OK the way it is. Instead: transform its denizens  (as Werner Erhard may have said).".

This isn't just semantics. This idea of transforming its denizens rather than changing the world is a contextual shift  in looking at changing the world. It's more than that actually. It's a contextual shift in looking at the world itself. The "small group of thoughtful, committed citizens" Margaret would have change the world are the mavericks  I would enroll in transforming its denizens.

You have to be something of a maverick to be enrolled in this small group of thoughtful, committed citizens. To be enrolled in this small group of thoughtful citizens committed to transforming the denizens of the world, the world has to be already alright with you. You can't enroll people in the idea the world is already alright unless you're enrolled in the idea the world is already alright yourself. To enroll yourself in the idea the world is already alright you have to invent it for yourself like a possibility.

You have to be a maverick to enroll yourself in this small, thoughtful, committed group. You have to be a maverick to play on this team. You have to be a maverick to play on our  team.

Be careful! There's nothing exclusive or possessive implied by referring to this team as our  team. Yes, in a you or  me world, referring to this team as our  team sounds exclusive and possessive - which is to say it's interpreted  as exclusive and possessive in a you or me world. But in a you and  me world, this team of thoughtful citizens, this team of mavericks committed to transforming the denizens of the world is in fact and quite literally our  team.



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