Monday, May 14, 2007

Politics, religion and technology?

Growing up I was always warned about not talking about religion or politics in certain crowds or times. Dont bring it up, you will start an argument. Often I did agree that was the best approach and I veered clear of those conversations. But at what cost?

Now looking back, I wish I would have had more conversations about religion and politics. At times I lack a clear vision or any sense of passion on politics, I just dont have any idea of what my true opinions are or what they should be. There are many stories in the bible that demonstrate that your beliefs, values and faith (and your core self) can only grow when challenged. So if I never argue my points or hear conflicting ideas, how do I know I am right?

So we should never talk about religion or politics just because people dont agree? How can so many people have conflicting views but all of them still be correct? I have found that a "good argument" often leads to new ideas, new learning and new opportunities. But what is a "good argument". I am sure that there are lots of books, seminars, trainings, etc about how to have a "good argument", but my thought is simple.

A good argument is a passionate exchange of ideas between parties with open ears and no set destination. That is to say that the argument is not as beneficial if either party already has their mind made up and has already chartered their course.

So what I am trying to say is that maybe we shouldnt avoid conflict or arguments. Rather we should engage in active conversation to challenge our own beliefs and opinions with the idea that maybe we are wrong. But who knows, maybe we are right.

This post has dragged on and technology seems to have faded off of it completely, but I do have a point. I wonder if technology has become a topic like religion or politics. You bring up technology in some circles and they quickly jump to conspiracy theories or simpler times before all these gadgets ruined our lives and stole our childrens creativity, we are slaves to the technology. If you bring it up at your NPO, their may be resistance, you sound like a broken wheel, you dont get invited to the meetings, etc.

Has technology become the next taboo topic? Do we avoid bringing it up in certain crowds or times? (Like when talking to funders? staff? CEOs?) why?

Does this mean we should stop bringing it up? NO!

I will not stop the conversation of technology, nor will I change the word technology and use a more politically correct term like systems and infrastructure. I will however approach the conversation when the "good argument" is possible.

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