Too Lazy to Think?
The higher the rate of change, the higher are the instabilities and disruptions in our life.
Change impacts multiple subsystems. On the micro level, the personal level (emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical subsystems), on the mezzo level of organizations like corporations and the macro level (economics, social, political institutions). As those system components do not change at the same speed, the situation is becoming increasingly COMPLEX.
That means that making decisions is becoming more stressful. More difficult to process.
The result is that people have difficulty to think clearly and increasingly look for instructions what to do. They seek formulas, so they do not have to think: just tell me “yes” or “no.”
This search for simple answers to complex problems explains in part the fantastic growth in the consulting services industry and the proliferation of coaches and life guides.
When in my work I refuse to give an answer to my clients and suggest they use common sense instead, I find them perplexed and somewhat unfulfilled. They want AN ANSWER. I suggest instead that they THINK.
Apparently, I am asking too much. In the complex world we live, finding common sense is not easy. It might be even very difficult to find.
What is entailed in finding common sense?
Common means that it makes sense to all the stakeholders.
Finding common sense means civilized exchange of information, and more importantly, exchange of judgment: what makes sense. It means learning from people who do not necessarily agree with you.
People have less and less time to exchange positions. And less and less patience to hear and listen to each other. And thus, they are less and less tolerant to understand each other.
What is the alternative?
I believe the accelerated rate of change with the collateral stressful impact it has on the thinking processes is fueling religious revival in all religions. And the extremist sections of religions are growing in their extremism.
Why is that?
Because religion provides a “manual” of what to do and not to do whether it is the Sharia or the Torah or the New Testament.
One does not need to think. One needs just to follow instructions.
The other extreme response is hedonism. No rules whatsoever. No boundaries. Just go with the flow.
The common denominator in both cases is: no need to think.
Yes, it is becoming more and more difficult to think clearly. Finding common sense is becoming more and more rare. And when one finds people who can clear their mind to think with common sense, I find that they are not appreciated. They are too simple minded, I am told.
Simple is powerful or may be the answer is not in being simple but in simplifying the problem.
The more complex the problem, the harder we should work on simplifying it in order to understand it and be more and more willing to take the time and make the effort to find common sense.
It is not so common in the complex world we live.
Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes