diversity

78 Why are you not effective?

Stories If you wanted a favor from me, would you run up to me and say, “I am going to fight you”? Do you come to a job interview to say, “Here are my demands; I am going to fight you until I get all of them”? Crazy as that sounds, I see these behaviors practiced every day, in other settings. However, today’s title is merely an attention grabber. You are effective and the article ends on my usual exuberance. I have already described athletic competition as collaboration between parties who agree to put forth best effort to make each …

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59 Let freedom ring

The Ernstraudian Way grew out of a discussion of togetherness: sharing happiness in mutual support settings. We want the fruits of cooperation. Humans need personal interaction. The quality of our relationships is the foundation of achievement and progress. Individuals and society build each other. While we are rejoicing over the benefits of our togetherness, we encounter uncomfortable differences. When we are close enough together to pool our strengths, we are close enough to experience bumps and bruises to our individuality. To some people, community and diversity are opposite poles. That is obvious if community means we must be the same, …

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46 Difference is essential to meaning

After my contracts course in law school, Professor Levin taught an exam review session. I was uncomfortable because his position was quite different from mine on almost every issue. Later he posted grades and returned the test booklets to us. He had given me the highest grade in the class–not because I agreed with him, but because I had covered every issue. Using Professor Levin’s philosophy, I give you questions, not answers. If you stay with me, you are the one who changes the world. Separating “us” from “them” is the road to destruction. It is the macro version of …

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38 The Ernstraudian Way

We have been creating our own worlds—first mentally and then tangibly. We are doing this with two methods: (a) we picture our preferred conditions until we perceive them around us and (b) we act on our environment to realize those conditions. We need resilience to meld the methods smoothly into a way of life. Thinking and doing are complementary. Sounds inviting, doesn’t it? Are you ever drawn away from this idyllic scenario? Accept my assurance that it is still in my heart when I am digging my car out of a snowdrift or soothing a reader who thinks my last …

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30 Picture this

Let us eliminate bicycle theft by producing so many bicycles that nobody will perceive stealing a bicycle as an increase in wealth. We remove the motive by reducing to zero the marginal value of one more bicycle. The larger economy benefits from a similar pattern. One American living in Denmark was willing to pay 70% income tax because it bought him a peaceful life in a friendly environment. When I lived in Switzerland, I twice recovered my umbrella after accidentally leaving it on a train. That involved identifying the train and the approximate location on the train, along with choosing …

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