Commit or perish

He who walks in the middle of the road gets hit from both sides. George P. Schultz

When asked a question that forces us into a corner, invariably we prefer to sidestep the issue and find refuge in a politically correct answer that leaves enough room to justify yourself later.  However this might work well sometime but invariably in the long run you have to live with your conscience and your honor. This poses a problem for somewhere along the way we are going to slip up and then we can get steamrolled by circumstances and fate.

Quite often what makes us indecisive and non committal is our focus on the cost of failure rather than the benefits and price of success. While the lure of rewards does tempt us, we tread cautiously and do a fine balancing act when walking the tight rope of commitment. We frequently use the yes-but strategy where we agree in principle but differ on execution or vice versa. This allows us the luxury of never seemingly being on any one side and yet we have the flexibility to distance ourselves from any finger pointing because we have never stated our position categorically. An ideal way to observe this phenomenon is to watch the politicians respond to any debate be it in print or TV. They will be articulate but would circumvent the key questions, they will point holes in another’s argument but never state their own position clearly and they will use their favorite ploy of digressing from the main issues and stirring the debate to frivolous and trivial matters.

Despite these maneuverings and balancing act when they lose their balance the consequences are deadly. History is resplendent with examples right from the Biblical Pilate who washed his hands of the sentencing of Jesus to the more recent IPL saga in India where a politician and the cricket honcho both sought to play a game of one upmanship albeit for high stakes. While both pretend to work in the best interest of the game but from opposing sides as of writing this one has lost his job and the other tottering on the brink of being toppled. The problem arises when we confuse our position on issues on a case to case basis and keep oscillating between our opposing beliefs.

Remember: If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything

Try these:

  1. Ask yourself what is your position on the following issues and see how you go into the yes-but mode
  • Gay and lesbian rights
  • Abortion
  • Abolition of the Death penalty
  1. What are you views on rehabilitating the tribal’s? Do you need to protect them from modern development so that they can preserve and continue their culture and lifestyle? Do they need to be brought into the main stream and become part of the consumerist society at the cost of losing their own identity and habitat?

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