Monday, July 31, 2017

The 50/50 rule

Sometimes governments and the people take things too far too fast. Again at such moments, we must take a deep breathe and seek to understand the individual efforts true intentions. Plus, we must keep in mind that there will always be those that seek to create chaos just because they can. This is the 50/50 rule. The 50/50 rule stipulates that in perfect balance there is equal parts of both sides. In terms of sanity, in a perfectly balanced world, half of the people are insane and the the other half are not. In this situation, half of the people who are insane are trying to understand the reasoning of the sane and the opposite is true as well. A quick discussion between two such people can bring almost anyone to fits of frustration. Even when two sane people are at odds of reason, frustration can quickly erupt into acts of violence. This is exactly why peace takes greater courage and effort than war. Forging ahead to develop a reality where the cultural components of a multicultural society is valued, respected and treated equally has eluded many individuals as well as most governments, corporations and other instutional structures. There is no shortage of examples of how we have got ourselves into trouble within this realm. We have Rwanda, Bosnia, WWII, Residential schools in Canada and of course the Daesh issues the world has been plagued with recently are examples of how poorly cultural divides have gotten. After each of these episodes of failure/conflict we usually embark on some sort of soul searching to understand how things went so wrong. In the context of post conflict reconstruction there are systems we have tried, such as truth and reconciliation commissions, restorative justice programs, war crime tribunals and the many types of reintegration programs. In other contexts, outside of traditional conflict or war, we have the cultural impacts of sexual identity and affirmative action policies. These seek to build fair opportunities, equality of hiring practices and safe space policies. All of the above efforts are steps being taken to resolve pain caused, correct wrongs, heal wounds, repair broken trust as we work to build a peaceful society. Each step is an experiment that must be tried. Some will fail and some will succeed. The most important component is that efforts are being made to improve. As we continue to embark on the experiments to improve there will be moments when society needs to vent. At the moment when a sector of society needs to vent, the other sectors must be prepared to act with all patience and peace as possible. The same peaceful respect needs to be held by those venting or protesting as well. During these protests we often forget the pendulum of society never stops. The 50/50 even divide at some point will swing to be 75.5 insanity/24.5 sanity or reversed the other way. In our pursuits to build peaceful societies we have to ensure a level of trust to have the difficult discussions - especially when emotions run high and frustration is deep. We must understand that not all experiments will turn out as we want them to. Some efforts are just not able to take hold due to the reality that the people or governments are not ready for certain things. Then there are the efforts that seem to be redundant to some while others see them as necessary. At the root of all these situations rests the complexity of the individual human rights and the responsibility those rights imply upon each of us. Each of us has a right to live without the fear of being harmed. That implies that each of us carries the responsibility to do no harm to another. Now that leads us to examine and understand what harm means to both you and the other. Plus, the 50/50 rule has to be taken into consideration and who determines that? While we forge ahead to build a peaceful society that is true to the reality of a multicultural world, we have learned that the task is one wild trip. Some have no patience for it and lash out into fits of violence. Others are just happy to stir the hornets nest and watch the chaos ensue. For the majority of people they are just trying to get through each day in the same condition they woke up in. Those same people hope to be improved. Then there are those that will improve each day as well as those that will be in worse conditions. Such is life. As each of us forge ahead in our own attempts at peace, it must be clearly understood that every conflict starts in the mind of the individual. To be peaceful is our responsibility to each other. At times we each experience the sanity side of the 50/50 rule as well as the insane side. You may trust yourself but the person that is in the discussion with you may not be in the same mind set. The skill set may have a vast distance as well. Then of course there is always the different versions of historical knowledge that each side will have. The piece to really grab onto is that most reason is only valid to those who agree with it. So, if one part of the argument is a firm believer in "outside the box thinking" that person must let go of common sense and reasoning to break down barriers or be insane. Finally, the 50/50 rule can help break your own thought patterns as everyone seeks to build a peaceful society.

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