Friday, January 16, 2009

Do you dare to dissent?

I had promised myself that the first blog entry for 2009 would be about technology and how technological progress would enable a better world for humanity. But I woke up to images of children killed in Gaza and rockets into Israel, and leaders on all sides pretending as though more violence will bring peace. The word “collateral damage” rolls of tongues so easily that one would think it is natural for humans to be involved in the act of murder.

Even more disturbing was the statistic that I came across where it showed that young adults who wanted to join the armed forces in a number of countries preferred the air force and navy to the army. Does this mean that they don’t mind the violence as long as they don’t see it close up?

So instead of talking about technology which I know more about, I choose to write about us, and I know much less about us for sure.

Do you dare to dissent, at work, with your leaders, with family, based on few basic principles. Some values across politics, religion and business for instance;
  • Life is valuable and we should not kill. Do your tax dollars, your vote, or your religious affiliations endorse killings? Does your comfort and well being depend on others being harmed? If the answer is yes then you need to question your beliefs, lifestyles, and actions. Do you dare to dissent?
  • Employee contribution is to be valued. Do you value the contribution of yourself, your colleagues, and people up and down the corporate ladder? If yes then support actions that add value to the employee too, not just share holders, and question lay offs at profitable companies. Some are necessary and many are not. The new Asia CFO of a large worldwide computer company stays at the average cost of about 800 USD a day for over 12 weeks at the premier hotel in Bangalore, while his main goal is to reduce unnecessary expenses through cost savings and lay offs. Many organizations have such inconsistent behaviour. Do you dare to dissent?
  • Equality and respect for all human beings. Do you believe we are all equal? If yes then do your actions and life style contribute to you, or your social structure to be better armed than others? Do you believe that you or the system you come from is inherently better, so you are entitled to things like weapons that only you are entitled to? Do yo believe that you are equal to everybody else?

Do I dare to dissent about these and a number of other thing? As I write these musings I am forced to reflect my own beliefs and my own actions and lifestyle. The strife of 2009 will make a lot of us understand ourselves better and will be a good test to our own moral compass with regards business, social obligations, religion, and politics.