Years ago, a business mentor of mine gave me some great leadership advice. He reminded me that, as leaders, we are often in a position to insert something into the organization, or to change something with the team. The temptation to put something into a group is nearly irresistible.
So, he cautioned me, that before I would put anything into the business team, to ask myself, “was this something I wanted to have in there permanently, duplicated over and over by others, until it became a permanent part of the culture? He explained to me that it is very easy to put something into a group, or activity, but that it is very hard–if not impossible–to take it out once it takes root.
When you try to take it out, he coached me, you will meet resistance, emotionality, push-back, anger, and mutiny even. People do not like to let go of something they have embraced. They will cling to it even if it is no longer a relevant issue.
And that, my friends, is precisely the danger we face today with the China Virus lockdowns, and restraints. Our government has a tendency at all levels to put in controls, restraints, even repression in order to control some situation that appears out of control to the bureacrats.
Take for example the TSA screenings mandated at all airports, and forced upon all citizens following 9/11. I am not debating whether or not that invasion of privacy, and massive inconvenience, is public policy you agree with or don’t agree with. What I am pointing out is that they started this even before 9/11. Airports put in severe restrictions on going to the gates following the Atlanta Olympics bombing. That was in the 90’s, and that is still in effect today.
Post 9/11, the TSA check-ins were put in, to protect us from terror attack. It has been almost 20 years since then, and much more sophisticated ways have been developed to ensure our safety. Requiring every person to go through the machines is not necessary today, yet those machines remain in place. They were easy in, and hard out.
If you doubt what I just said, ask yourself, what is it that allows you to get a TSA Pre-check? You pay money, and somehow you are “checked” and allowed to board with not much more than identification. What tools did they use to satisfy themselves that you are OK to travel? Hmmm?
Which brings me to lockdowns, “home-arrests,” destruction of small businesses–all done initially to protect us from a new virus that spreads, and can kill. Easy in.
That was 10 months ago, when everything was unknown. Yet 10 months later–when we know its origin now, know its DNA, have developed very successful and multiple therapeutics to treat anyone who gets it and gets quite ill, and have developed and released two and soon-to-be three vaccines to protect the whole world from even getting it–you are being pressured, and threatened, and coerced into sheltering in place. You are being told it is noble for you to stand by as your fellow citizens lose their businesses. You are told it is just unavoidable collateral damage that millions of Americans have now sunk into despair and depression. You are pummeled if you even raise the certain truth that locking children out of school may cost us an entire generation, and destroy the lives of tens of millions.
All that done purportedly to save you! And God help you if you even dare to ask the questions, “Do we really need all this just to keep me safe? Can’t I be responsible for myself, and my family? Does everyone need to suffer now? What exactly is the current mortality rate of this disease? Is it true that the death rate is now down to between 1.5 and 1.8 %? Doesn’t that mean all the great work that we put “in” has worked?
Is it not time for us to take some of this “out?”
Watch what happens to you when you even ask any of the questions I just asked. It went “in” easy–this thing called complete power and control over a population. It is going to go “out” hard. You are going to have to work hard to free yourself–if you ever do.
You may ask why people make it hard to take something out that is no longer needed, or not needed in its harshest and most draconian form. Follow the money, my friends. It will always come down to the money. Those who love power and control also love money.
They may care about you, but it is on a much lesser priority than their caring about money.
Easy in, hard out. So be it. Let’s get it done though, lest we end up 20 years from now still living with masks, fear, social distance circles, hostile looks and comments, rubber gloves, and isolation from those we care about.