Monday, September 12, 2011

Reflections on 9-11

By Pascal Dennis

A decade ago we watched in horror as fanatics murdered innocent people.

What did they hope to achieve?

An immediate goal, evidently (which marks them as pathetic), was carnal delight in the afterlife.

A broader goal appears to have been the destruction of pluralism -- the free interplay of people, ideas, goods and services.

Commerce, if you will, between cultures, religions, ages, genders, with only minimal, common-sense restrictions.

The fanatics sought to isolate & "purify". (We've heard that story before, no?)

In the Lean Business System, this commerce is called yokoten -- direct, experiential sharing and learning.

Commerce/Yokoten is perhaps our species most distinguishing trait.

Does any other species exchange and build off one another's ideas?

Does any other species record and share its learning across generations?

In our magical age, we are able in a matter of moments, to download the collected wisdom of the ages.

My Kindle library includes free downloads of Epictetus, Seneca, Avicenna,  Maimonides, Rumi, Gracian, Confucius and other sages.

Another of humanity's distinguishing traits is compassion -- the desire to help others in need.

A decade ago, we saw compassion in abundance, did we not?

Are not yokoten and compassion linked?

When we share, learn, break bread with one another, do we not also learn compassion?

Not along ago, the Chinese and Japanese were perceived to be the implacable enemies of America and the west.

After decades of mutual sharing and learning, former adversaries have become friends, colleagues and partners.

We have gotten to know each other & realize we're not that different, so why not be friends?

Yokoten (and compassion) which will continue to grow as we become more interconnected.

And that's why, after a gut-wrenching decade, I believe we are going to be okay.



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