Types of learning LO7334

Ben Compton (BCOMPTON@novell.com)
Thu, 09 May 1996 09:49:02 -0700

Responding to Dave Birren L07303

Dave says in part:

>I've learned that a lot of apathy has to do with systems that grind
>people down. I've seen many situations where the yoke of control is
>removed; people lift their heads and engage the situation with
>earnest and honest dedication (and I work in government, no less!).
>Many remain cynical, it's true, but the learning for me has been that
>most folks really want to play a meaningful role. Mostly they're held
>back by systemically disempowering cultures.

My point was that the corporate systems (whatever they may be) generally
encourage people to do just enough to get buy. Yes, I agree the problem is
systemic. Ergo, my conclusion that a jobless society would help people
"get out of their comfort zones," and take responsibility for their own

It isn't that I don't believe everyone can develop the capacity to become
committed to a purpose greater than themselves . . . I think it simply
that as a society we have never asked (or required) people to make such a
commitment. Furthermore, I'm not convinced that emerging social trends (or
systems) are doing much to address this issue.

For instance, as a society I believe we are losing the ability to think
long-term, as many people are becoming more and more focused on immediate
gratification (financially, professionally, and personally). Many of our
young people therefore do not think more than a few moments -- at best,
perhaps, days -- ahead. Their capacity to view life as a creative work is
subsequently disappearing.

The reason I believe a jobless society (I'm not sure how descriptive the
word is, but it's the best I have right now) will change the dynamics of
the system is that it will be very results-oriented. People excel (and
perhaps even survive) based on their ability to produce expected results.

The basis for this thinking is my interpretation of the industrial
revolution. At one point in society, the majority of business was done by
private business owners or merchants. The industrial revolution made it
possible for people to get a job working for someone else, which provided
a far more safe and secure environment. It was easier to work for someone
else than it is to work for yourself (I know, I've done both). When we
made this discovery as a society, I think we sacrificed a little bit of
our self-dignity and our creative spirit.

And so, Dave, it isn't that I'm not compassionate. I do believe that my
success is built on the success of others, and that the more I help others
succeed the greater my success will be. However, I am frustrated at the
number of people I have met over the years who simply don't want to
succeed and don't want to be helped (or coached, or encouraged). I think
Senge hit it best when he said we should call some people "given ups, not
grown ups."

I think there should be some serious study done as to why so many people
simply give up.

I hope that clarifies my position a little more.


Benjamin B. Compton ("Ben") | email: bcompton@novell.com Novell GroupWare Technical Engineer | fax: (801) 222-6991

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