Enlightened Conflict

purposeful ignorance & purposeful lack of listening

January 5th, 2017


genius calvin



Calvin & Hobbes:

“Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?”




Mrs. Wormwood:

“What state do you live in?”







Calvin & Hobbes:


“In my opinion, we don’t devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks.”






I am not sure there is anything worse a person can do in my eyes than to ignorance closed mindembrace purposeful ignorance. I may actually believe it is worse than lying.


Technically, purposeful ignorance occurs when a person knows the truth but chooses to ignore it, or the person refuses to abandon false beliefs and pursue the development of further knowledge.


According to the Urban Dictionary willful ignorance is: the practice or act of intentional and blatant avoidance, disregard or disagreement with facts, empirical evidence and well-founded arguments because they oppose or contradict your own existing personal beliefs.”


But, to me, there are three levels of purposeful ignorance:


  • accepted ignorance: I have an attitude, perception or belief and I go about my life doing nothing to engage my thinking and expand what I know <unlearning avoidance is what I call this>



  • confirmed ignorance: with the intent to show everyone that I am not ignorant I actually proactively engage in news & opinion offerors … uhm … but I only do so with those who have the same attitudes, perceptions and beliefs that I do <learning how to better articulate what I already think is what I call this>.



  • ignorant ignorance: I actively engage with people who have different views and maybe even have some discussions and give the impression I am open minded … but even while nodding my head sagely I am simply building additional walls around what I already believe and think <listening without listening is what I call this>


The last of those three is the most heinous type of ignorance. You actually have the opportunity to learn and you choose to not learn diddleysquat.


It is heinous to me because there are gobs of well-intended people who are smart but just don’t actively engage in learning new shit because … well … they got shit to do.


Do I like that they are unengaged in learning & unlearning? No.


Can I see how it could happen? Yes.


In addition … almost every single one of us have moments of purposeful shortcuts not thereignorance.


At its worst it is a conscious choice to be ignorant rather than challenge themselves and acknowledge a truth about reality.

At its best we have simply bucketed some things in our minds as ‘decided’ in order to short cut some things and invest energy in others <and we all do the this>.


To be clear on this issue.


The reason I think people who do the third type of purposeful ignorance should be strapped to some pole and whipped is because they are consciously & actively being ignorant while most of us accept our ignorance because we admittedly like to think we understand things and we certainly understand that challenging what we already believe is difficult.


For most of us challenging what we believe is difficult because it means admitting that beliefs are subject to change and some could actually be wrong … and … well … we feel much more comfortable thinking that some things are just etched in stone.


This is not denial this is simply avoidance.

And we all do it on occasion.


But we also do not go through the motions of publicly showcasing that we are actively listening to try and challenge our beliefs.

We accept them and observe them and articulate them.


That’s it.


unlearn business tired old ideasAnd maybe this is simple laziness in not wanting to have to do the work to rethink opinions & beliefs and unlearning shit we thought we knew and then having to explain why we change dour minds and … well … you get it.


Our closemindedness is mostly driven by avoidance <purposeful or not>.


And I even give some people a break on this topic.


Psychological research tells us that some people are cognitively complex while others prefer cognitive simplicity, in other words, some people are open to experience while other are closed minded.

Some people are cognitively flexible while others are cognitively rigid.


I could suggest that those who are cognitively simple, closed minded and/or rigid are much more likely to engage in the ‘accepted ignorance’ level of purposeful ignorance that I noted earlier.


These are not stupid people by any stretch of the imagination and they most certainly have the ability to be ‘smart’ <or broader in thinking> … they are simply people who would rather be comfortably ignorant rather than ‘intellectually smart’.


In addition … Urban Dictionary suggests that some people are “cognitive misers“, i.e., they do not to examine things intellectually if they don’t feel they have to.


And another valid reason is … well … conformity. While this sounds ‘sheeplike’ it obvious sheep hughis not always. We all engage in some aspects of conformity because it helps us not only fit in but provide us with some daily stability which permits us to engage our energy elsewhere. That is why a shitload of people tend to believe what those around them believe because questioning those beliefs would lead to conflict, possibly rejection and … well … energy investment.


And, look, there are some nice benefits to conforming.


Conformists have the greater potential to find a mate, or mates, to climb the social ladder of “success,” to have others speak well of them and to enjoy the benefits of a social support system.


And, with all that said, you know what? I can live with that.


As much as a curious, always seeking truth, person like me finds purposeful ignorance to be an egregious & utter lack of responsibility to living Life to its fullest and being engaged in Life … in general … I accept that there are some acceptable versions of purposeful ignorance <and, yet, I will do anything I can to break thru to these people and engage in some thoughtful thinking>.


I absolutely believe that learning and unlearning, is a lifelong process and ultimately leads to a fuller, richer Life. I will participate in learning/unlearning through my own discussions and I will engage with anyone, anywhere, on any topic, at any time.


I understand that deeply ingrained purposeful ignorance is incredibly difficult to change but I also never, ever, underestimate people’s capacity for change.


I will continue to be interested in the views of others, even where I disagree with them, and I will always be interested in understanding why others act and think in the way that they do.


I believe the importance of this type of relevant knowledge mainly resides in the ultimate negotiation of ‘what will be.’ in other words … how we, as people, achieve the best possible outcomes.


And that is why I will end here.


My third level of purposeful ignorance, “Ignorant ignorance”, is evil.

hunter bad boss assholeAnd it takes an evil person to consciously commit it.


I cannot even attempt to understand how someone could fuck with learning & unlearning in such a purposeful manner. Faking learning, or an interest in learning … or faking sincere curiosity … is maybe the most heinous act one could commit.


They are jerks. And, unfortunately, we have no scientific research for a cure for jerks.




recovering from WTF

November 19th, 2016



They <Democrats> are our intellectual and social betters. They didn’t lose because of their positions.

They lost because they think we are misguided fools and they didn’t do a good enough job of educating us.




A sarcastic RedState Commenter






I scan all news outlets from bleeding heart liberal to scary Armageddon right.

The main thing I have noticed is that Trump has sucked the oxygen, and intelligence, out of all media <social, cable and ‘mainstream’>. It is an event unlike anything we have seen before.


He does nothing, says nothing of any consequence, maybe throws in a random insanely juvenile tweet or two … and it sucks all the oxygen out of anything & everything. This is like the OJ in the Chevy Blazer but the Blazer is still driving in its 18th month.


All I can conclude from this is that he is an attention whore who loves any attention and will do nothing to calm the attention storm <because he could stop the insanity if he wanted to>.


And this leads to me to what I am referring to as the “ongoing WTF hangover” and how Republicans and Trump surrogates <and, yes, they are different> keep on suggesting ‘get over it, he won.’


That is crazy.

doom sucks negativity divide unfair

And, worse?

It shows a lack of insight into what happened.


This is not about being a sore loser. This is not about not accepting a loss.



This isn’t even really about politics.


This is not that they lost … it is about who they lost to.


So, please, all those who say ‘he won get over it” take a deep breath and think about it this way.


If this had been Romney versus Clinton and she lost … yeah … people would have been bummed … frustrated … but not protesting or standing up and asking the VP to think about ‘the people’ with concern and a tinge of fear.

Romney is sane, a good man with some policies you could agree with, and some to disagree with, and he clearly stated what you could expect from him <none of those things can be checked with Trump>.


If this had been …






Rand Paul

Cruz … okay … maybe less so.



Yeah … people would have been bummed … but not really concerned with what was going to happen <okay .. maybe with Cruz> … certainly not protesting and asking the VP to think about the people with concern and a tinge of fear.





I am not going to suggest Clinton won the popular vote and bla bla bla … but there is this absurd Republican stance that “the people have spoken and the winner is clear.”






Clinton: 63,049,607 votes … 47.9%


Trump: 61,610,484 votes … 46.8%


Everyone else … maybe 8 million+ votes … 5.3%


Trump didn’t even win enough votes to beat W. Bush … and, boy, does Bush look good now <George W. Bush 2004 62,039,073 … Donald Trump 2016: 61,610,484>.


My point?what-stupid-shock-wtf-surprise


They are acting like the 72 million <or so> people who did not vote for Trump didn’t wake up the next day saying “WTF just happened?”


They are acting like maybe let’s say 20% of those who actually did vote for Trump, maybe 12 million people or so, didn’t wake up the next day saying “Holy shit … uh oh.”


They are acting like 28% of those who didn’t vote at all didn’t wake up the next day and saying “WTF happened … holy shit … I fucked up <because I would vote for Hillary if I had the chance today>”

                           (research conducted with non voters by international paper)





The Wake Forest football team could beat Alabama one weekend.

99% of the people would wake up the next day going “WTF happened?”

Maybe 90% of the Wake Forest fans would wake up the next day and say “Holy shit.”

But pretty much 99.9% of the people know Alabama is a better team.





WTF doesn’t just fade away.


In fact … it has a number of levels.


wtf-20-times-a-dayThe farther the WTF edges toward true outrageousness the deeper the WTF.


The farther the WTF edges toward sheer shock the deeper the WTF.


The farther the WTF edges toward real disbelief, as in “how could someone so unqualified assume such an important position that could affect my life, career and country”, the deeper the WTF.


And then … when the WTF wears a cloak of “oh shit” … well … it is the kind of WTF that is not tied to the loss but rather to the “WTF happens now.”

It is that last one that lingers … and lingers until there is a better sense of ‘what will happen.’



As I have stated … not all WTFs are created equal.


And it is absurd to not understand that and stupid to diminish it. Especially if we are talking about the majority of the population and the WTF candidate didn’t even gain 50% of the population to raise its hand and say “yeah, I think you can do the job” <let alone I think “you can do a job I want”>. Compound that with the truth, a cold hard fact, that more people actually believed someone else should do the job … well … ‘get over it, he won’ just doesn’t hack it.


I can guarantee you one thing … no real business leader would sit in their new corner office going “well, I won, they just need to shut up and line up outside my door and love me and my plans.”   




I know.


We have all seen it in business … there may be nothing worse than when the new leader ignores the WTF or is oblivious to the WTF.


It doesn’t happen often … but most of us have seen it <if not on just a lower management level>.


Treating a ‘WTF happened’ attitude as if it doesn’t exist is just not good leadership.




Cultures and people, in general, don’t like vacuums. In fact, their presence compels us to fill the vacuum … well … mostly with shit.shit well nuts


People do not like to extrapolate. People do not like to guess.

And when forced to … well … we come up with shit.

Oh. And shit multiplies fast and is sticky.

Cleaning up shit is not just a messy job it can almost be an impossible job.




I am no business leader genius but even I know when you assume a new leadership position you do not assume everyone knows who you are, what your plan is and what you want to do.


Silence creates a vacuum which, until all of us every day working schmucks fill it with our shit, is only filled with uncertainty, questions and maybe a little fear of what’s next.


Silence only does one thing … increase the initial WTF factor. It does not diminish it.


To diminish the WTF factor you need to fill the vacuum with something other than shit, vague shit and bullshit.


Set the agenda. State the plan.

It gives even the skeptical & cynical a measurement stick and something to hold on to beyond a simple ingoing “WTF attitude”.


Once again … this inherently leads me to my latent disdain for Trump as a business person. Trump has no idea how to lead nor does he understand, or have the experience, how to positively build an organizational culture nor does he show any signs he knows how to lead.

He is solely a purely transactional operator. That is not a leader.



watch uh oh shit bad day crisis businessSo … Mr. President elect Trump.


Maybe you should not consider this a win but rather a promotion where:


  • About 100 million of your 200 million employees are, at minimum, skeptical you have the temperament or the skills to have earned that promotion.


Let’s call these the “WTF employees.”


  • About 72 million of your 200 million employees unequivocally did not believe you were deserving of the promotion.


Let’s call these the “WTF … holy shit” employees.


  • About 40 million of your 200 million employees were so indifferent as to whether you got this promotion or not that they most likely had no clue who you were when it was announced.


Let’s call these the “I don’t give a fuck” employees.


  • About 60 million of your 200 million employees thought you should get the promotion … but … uh oh … about 30 million of those employees didn’t think you were actually qualified or had the temperament for the job … they just didn’t like the alternatives.


Lets call these the “oh shit, what happens next?” employees.



So, Mr. President elect Trump, time to grow up and lead.euper into giving a shit bad decisions



And Republicans.



Maybe you should consider you fucking won because 28% of the other team decided not to show up on game day because they thought their team was going to win easily.


Maybe you should consider the fact that about 100 million adults or so are fairly sure your nominee is an incompetent asshat with the maturity of a spoiled teenager and no discernible moral compass.


Maybe you should consider a sizable portion of your own elected party woke up the following morning fairly sure your nominee is an incompetent asshat with the maturity of a spoiled teenager and no discernible moral compass <and said ‘oh shit’>.



Maybe you should consider the harsh fact that around 72 million adults clearly stated they had little interest in the ‘Republican mandate’ and another 68 million or so adults were indifferent <they did not even vote>.


In the end.




I am not pissed about losing I am pissed I have to worry whether the winner is actually competent enough to keep the country out of the shithole.


wtf-per-hour-24-7I am clearly one of the “WTF” employees.


And, no, this is not about politics … this is about leadership and leading a country.


So maybe everyone should consider taking their proverbial heads out of their proverbial political asses and recognize the country is suffering from a major case of WTF … and deal with it rather than ignore or diminish it.



heart of any terror or “vzbzdnyt”

September 27th, 2015

terror lose meaningful


“At the heart of any terror is the fear of losing what we find meaningful.”


Mark Z Danielewski



archaic Russian word meaning “to back out of a situation due to fear”








This is not a philosophical thought … this is simply about terror, fear and losing something meaningful.



This is not about finding meaning in life … this is about losing what is meaningful in the here & now.
This also gave me the opportunity to share one of the unpronounceable words in the Russian language – vzbzdnyt.



refinding risk lose the chance



In an everyday Life in which we are bombarded with ongoing changes, pressure on what we should change, and a pop culture pounding us with screeching voices of ‘change or be left behind’ it sometimes seems like what is meaningful to us has no value to anyone other than our self.



Therefore we keep on finding ourselves in positions and places where things that are meaningful to us are being grabbed by change and ripped out of our hands. That is why we keep … well … vzbzdnyt. Or at least we try to back out of these situations … out of fear of losing what is meaningful to us.



Let me share what I believe are the two most common situations that we find what is meaningful is threatened to a point where we fear losing it <sometimes almost to a point of terrifying us>:



–       Losing yourself.


terror stay the path true to self

This one should create terror in our hearts.






What is more meaningful in Life than yourself? Your identity? Your honor and dignity … and well … all those things?


Nothing if not much.



And, yet, day in and day out Life, society, work and anything else you can think of is prying at any chinks in your esteem and tugging at any doubt or question you may have with regard to who you are and what you believe in.




Even if you are not sure of ‘who you are’ you fear losing something meaningful because you may never get it back.



This can be terrifying.


This can induce terror.



While many people smarter than I advocate standing your ground and holding on to yourself as tight as you can … well … I don’t advocate any one solution.



Stand your ground … but … if backing out for fear of losing yourself is the only, and best, path available? Go.


I tend to believe that not losing yourself isn’t about taking pride in HOW you do it … it is taking pride in the fact you actually figured out a WAY t do it.



ignorance and closed mind

–      Losing what you know <or what you believe>.




Most of the time … this one creates unneeded terror.



Simplistically, it is wrong to think that what you currently believe will ultimately provide meaning, or purpose, for your life.




Far too often we seek in ‘what we know now’ to define meaning.





Actually … it is living life that really provides the answer <not ‘what I know now’ or any philosophical reflection>.




I have rejected the view that life’s purpose can be understood by looking backwards to its origins.

But that doesn’t mean the only alternative is looking forward to its ultimate end.

Just as the restaurant staff are fulfilling their professional purposes in the present simply by doing their job, couldn’t we fulfill life’s purpose in the present simply by living our lives?

Julian Baggini





And living Life is all about expanding what you know and that means losing the shit that you no longer believe.



The reason why we find this terrifying?



We actually often find something meaningful in … well … oddly … ignorance.





That sounds frighteningly idiotic.



But … a little ignorance, a little less knowledge, can actually be comforting.


terror let go meaningful df wallaceLosing that comfort is scary … even terrifying.


Therefore we hold on to what we currently believe <even if it is ignorance> with tight ragged claws.



This is self inflicted terror.


This is self inflicted fear.


This is misguided identification of what is meaningful.






Life is terrifying if you think about shit too much.



Life is terrifying if you think about the WRONG shit enough.



Sometimes life seems purposeful and meaningful … and sometimes it seems pointless, meaningless … and even absurd.



Terrorists succeed only when they create fear.


Aspects of Life succeed in creating terror only when they generate fear.



Notice I used ‘create’ and ‘generate.’



In and of themselves <terror> … they are nothing.


fear will lose terror

Life is meant to be lived and, sure, we will always feel terror when we fear losing something meaningful.



All I think I know is that if you truly identify what is meaningful to you <and not make up meaningless meaningfuls> you will be more likely to be steadfast in the face of fear and not give terror the opportunity to … well … win.


And you will not only win in the here & now … you will win in the then & there.



Don’t let fear win.

2015: creating rational hope & eliminating rational ignorance

January 1st, 2015

2015 game time for people

“We have met the enemy and they are us.”





Happy first day of 2015.



This is about 2015 and what businesses and leaders have to offer people in the upcoming year.


Where I begin.


I have often referred to businesses as ‘selling hope’ and leaders as ‘dealers in hope.’

That belief hasn’t changed.


hope light at end of tunnel
But the environment in which we offer Hope, and how people view <or don’t view> Hope, has changed and is clearly different in 2015.
And we need to recognize it and insure that people not only still have Hope <for something better> but they actually believe in Hope <that it can be better>.



And that is a big job in 2015.



But it is a responsibility that must be assumed by someone … and it needs to be leaders and businesses <in what they say and what they sell>


Hope is essential for 2015 because it addresses maybe the biggest issue in today world … a skepticism ? … “a waning sense of national cohesion”<Tom Ricks>? … a lack of trust ?



None of those.



It is people are losing Hope <or losing sight of Hope>.




And when people lose Hope it comes to life, attitudinally, in skepticism and lack of cohesion and trust issues and … yes … anger.


In other words … all outcomes from a ‘don’t fuck with my Hope’ attitude.





Fix Hope and all else will fall in place.
Stated another way … the threat to America <people> is Americans <people’s> hope.
Stated my way … the threat to people is people.


I am fairly consistent on a couple of things … the power of Hope … and the power of people <when they elect to assume the responsibility of their power>.


I said this in 2013 predictions …. “The people will take matters into their own hands and begin believing in whatever it is that US believes in <just do it, do it myself, whatever you want to call it>.”


I still believe it is true.


All that said.
The thought for 2015 actually revolves around my favorite topic – Hope.





Hope is a big sweeping topic.


So I will be clear … in 2015 we dealers in hope <business leaders and leaders in general> have a very specific type of Hope we need to be working on.



Hope in the form of some better version of some stability … let’s call it stability with vision.


It doesn’t have to be safe per se … just some solid ground to stand on <with a beautiful view>.
Solid ground with a view.


2015 horizon

Hope is the eternal value proposition. We all want it. We all feel empty without it. We all value it.

And its value ebbs & flows based on … well … our frame of mind.




And the frame of mind of people today sucks.





Frame of mind?




Because unattainable today can swiftly turn to possibly attainable tomorrow.


A grey today shifts to a colorful tomorrow <or at least a hopeful sunset within today>.


Our spirits rise and we can see possibilities where once we only saw pragmatic reality.  And when spirits rise the harsh truth of what is becomes a softer truth of what could be.


This year’s version of Hope has a slightly different characteristic.


Some stability.
Some unmoving consistency.


That may sound like an odd idea for Hope because Hope is typically so intangible. Its typically all about some nebulous horizon. Someplace to go <yet to be clearly identified>.


In fact.


Inherent in Hope is some fragility and unknowns.



In 2015 part of Hope has to have a strong thread of ‘known.’


Ok … attainable hope?
Isn’t that … well … not Hope?




It is the 2015 version of it.


Most times we only show what could be not the bridge to it. Nor even tell people how to get there. Not even tell people where to stand to be able to see it.

We show Hope.


They see it thru their own eyes and envision their own path.



The 2015 version of Hope needs some help. It has to be visionary and big & expansive and yet needs some grounding.


If the leaders and business deal in this kind of Hope … well … there is hope for the world.



Because people will take over from there.



I wrote this in 2013 and I believe it today <and some of it has actually begun to happen>:


America is better when ideas are held up for debate, but it is worse when some let their blind partisanship drag the country down in an “I may lose, but by God they won’t win” death spiral.

The world will improve not because of more government or less government … in fact the government & taxes & stimulus is irrelevant … it will be because people’s attitudes will change.

They will just believe it should be better and will set out to make it better … regardless of the system they are asked to operate within.

Which leads me to the next … power of the people.

Power of the people

Western countries have the non-humble belief they are constantly teaching everyone else … well … everything. I actually believe western countries will be applying learning from others in 2013. In fact they will learn from the Middle East. We watched the past several years as people in countries began standing up and topping their leadership.


I believe the West is less focused on the toppling and more focused on the fact people are standing up and speaking out for their beliefs … and getting some traction and action.

Therefore more and more people will be less silent and more active.

This will obviously create some issues because most existing countries populations are not aligned and therefore it could end up being more divisive … but in the end people will become less ‘silent majority’ and more ‘speaking majority.’

It will not all be productive but it will certainly produce some action.




If it is about people … we need to insure people are engaged. And that is the leaders’ responsibility.



But 2015 also needs something beyond this rational version of hope.


who the hell caresThe people need to overcome a disease called … ‘rational ignorance.’


I did not make this term up <although I wish I had>. It is tied to something called “the index of ignorance’ <and actual study>.


Basically it says that pretty much all people, everywhere, suck at knowing facts <or truth>. The ‘index of ignorance’ highlights the fact that people’s perceptions are incredibly disassociated from reality


Looking across all the questions, Britain actually does relatively well: fifth most accurate out of 14 countries in the “index of ignorance”. Italy is the most wrong, with the US next worst. The most accurate countries are Sweden and Germany – although even here, people are often very wrong.


reality problem

So what’s going on … why are perceptions so far from reality?





We seem to suffer from what social psychologists call “emotional innumeracy” when thinking about shit.

We confuse what’s worrying us more than even trying to get the right answers.



Our heads make the cause and effect run both ways … with our concern leading to our mis-perceptions as much as our mis-perceptions creating our concern.



More harshly …. the index of ignorance  actually measures rational ignorance.



It suggests people have no reason to inform themselves, with all the costs of time and effort that involves, if they can’t influence anything.


Basically we fall back to “what’s the point?” if it doesn’t affect outcomes and decisions remain outside our control. This purposeful ignorance is most likely a reflection of what we see as an overall fatal flaw in the system  <one we do not see we can overcome> … we do not matter.



But all the smart thinking mumbo jumbo aside … our ignorance is simple … we are lazy.


reality and dreams

I say that and come back to my real point … about leaders & leadership … because this type of laziness can actually be solved. This laziness exists because most people just don’t see the benefit of putting the effort in … see some results.






The people don’t need to see results 100% of the time they put in the effort … but let’s say 66+% of the time the people like to see some movement. Some pay off for the effort … just enough to make it worthwhile.


<I have a post coming up called “knowledge and working for it” to discuss this point>



And this is all about Hope.


People couch it in inequality or fairness <or lack of fairness> or any words you want to associate with possibilities and opportunity. But all of that stuff is simply Hope. I say that because people can’t discuss hope … they need something more tangible so they ‘drop down’ to some social issue or graph or number they can hold up and point to.



Trust me on this.



We solve hope and all the hands will drop down with whatever they are holding.



Our business and leaders need to make people care more … in harsh words … less lazy. We need to make them want to put in the effort to be less ignorant.



<I addressed this partially in my 2014 new year’s post:

http://brucemctague.com/a-new-year-and-some-old-thinking >

Which leads me to my only prediction … about who will be making the people care more … a new breed of leaders.




I actually said this in 2013:

The rise of leaders

I do believe it is going to be a great, not good, year for new leaders.


We may not recognize them as true leaders in 2013 but I envision 2013 as the year our next generation of great leaders will arise from the turmoil.

I believe I will call this new leadership group … the sifters. They will have the ability to sift through the loud voices, the silent voices and their peer’s voices … and decide what is right … and do it <whether it is ‘popular’ or not>.

For example … in the USA it is going to be the ones who stand up and go “we need to raise taxes <on everyone not just the wealthy> and we need to make spending cuts and we need to revamp entitlement programs and we need to regulate businesses until they can prove they can be trustworthy and we need to make government departments accountable … or we eliminate them.”

Basically we will find a new group of young leaders who will explain common sense … even if it is some unpopular common sense … and tell people the truth … and do what needs to be done.

This is going to happen not only in the USA but also France, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and a number of other ‘developed countries.’

We may not reap the full benefits of this group for another 5 to 10 years but I believe we will look back on 2013 as the year of the rise of the great leaders.


inspire leadership

I still believe this with one additional aspect … the attainable Hope aspect.


This new type of leader will lead with common sense tethered to Hope.



This new leader will guide us toward the horizon of hope and prosperity.



In yesterday’s post I was discussing personal responsibility and in my last ‘looking toward 2015’ post I am discussing building ‘lighthouse’ optimism to guide us toward who and what we want to be as a group of people <a nation as it were>.



We need leaders who recognize the shape of Hope has changed.



That there is a practicality that Hope needs today that it didn’t need in the past.



I can honestly say I have struggled with what adjective or descriptor to put in front of my 2015 version of Hope.

Practical or pragmatic.



The best <I thought>?




Common sense tethered to Hope.



It gives us a strong sense of direction in which to focus. It gives us a name or face to aim at.


My anger at the world coils inside of me.

It’s a directionless seething, there’s no name or face to aim at.”


The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn

hope this way

The people have a directionless seething anger at the world … and it is up to businesses and leaders to give direction and solve the anger.





Hope is always a good direction.


Hope solves anger.


Hope solves ‘rational ignorance.’


In my mind?


2015 should be about rebuilding this new version of Hope in people’s minds.





If I were a leader … that is what I would do.

new year, tinkerbell and overcoming fear

December 31st, 2014

tinker bell dust off

“You have to break rules to break free.”


Tinker Bell

<lyric from Seanan McGuire “Wicked Girls Saving Ourselves”>


“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”


Alan Kay





Yesterday I wrote about the year of fear and people.



Today, writing about 2015, it is about people again.

This time it is the Life version of moving forward, attitudes & behavior and how people should become … well … unfeared for 2015.




And in doing so I use Tinkerbell and Peter Pan.






Think of it this way <to begin>.



Peter Pan and Tinkerbell are good friends … albeit volatile best friends.

tinkerbell and peterpan

They fight each other, give each other shit, they make each other angry and jealous … but when all is said and done … they would die for the other.



They realize they aren’t always perfect, the world isn’t always perfect and while sometimes they drive each other crazy they also realize those very characteristics that make each other crazy are also often the ones that make the other care so much.



Think of our world this way.



Peter Pans and Tinker Bells. The real world and real people are a mix. WE drive each other crazy <at times> but it is just those things that make us crazy that make the world interesting and better.



Yet. Today it is Tinker Bell I focus on for 2015.



The book version of TinkerBell, one of the most recognized characters in children’s literature, is certainly one of the best feisty imperfect spectacular ‘doer’ type of people you will ever meet.

Flawed but magical.



Considerably different than the Disney version.


Considerably more interesting than the Disney version.




And, more importantly, a reflection of the fact that the world is not a Disney version.



The TinkerBell truth for us to remember ?



You have to break rules if you want to break free.


obey rules





There are so many rules, so many things society tells you to do, and if you want to break free, you have to decide what you want to do – and be.



If you want to break free of fear you gotta step out and way from some of the rules.

I say this because if society, and the collective thought, is fear … it is kind of up to you break free of it all.



What I am suggesting is not easy.  Society tells you how to be fearful more than anything else … but you can’t listen to that.


Well … at least not if you want to be more than what you are today.



Fear creates stagnancy.



Fear creates a cage … or a prison for our minds … and certainly creates a ‘box’ which becomes far too easy to get comfortable in.


fear prisonOh.


This cage thing.



I have an article coming up saying that ‘the world loves a cage.’


You may not like to hear this but … people tend to like being in this ‘cage.’




The problem is that in 2014 many of us saw this cage as ‘protection against the outside world’ and not someplace where we were trapped.



As with everything … it is about perspective.


We trapped ourselves in 2014. Trapped ourselves in fear.



And to become ‘untrapped’ we have to think like TinkerBell.



She wasn’t always nice.


She was feisty.


She was willing to break rules.


And she had an imagination.


tinker bell harumph






Personally … I don’t want to die in a cage.


Any cage … a cage made by me or by someone else.



I don’t care.


I just don’t want to die in a cage.




I tend to believe most of us don’t.



There’s a place they can go if they’re tired of chains,

And our roads may be golden, or broken, or lost,

But we’ll walk on them willingly, knowing the cost –

We won’t take our place on the shelves.

It’s better to fly and it’s better to die

Say the wicked girls saving ourselves.”


“Wicked Girls Saving Ourselves”



2015 is not about systems, or society, or government, or politicians … or even conflict & turmoil.


2015 is about the people. Actually, to be definitive, it is about the “I” – the individual making a decision & a choice.




2015 is about saving ourselves.



Us doing it for us.


Us being … well … Tinker Bells.





The homophobic among us will scoff and seek a large manly symbolic character and try to embrace this more manly idea of breaking the shackles of fear.



They don’t understand the point.




It’s not about gender.


And it certainly isn’t about physical strength or ‘the power of revolution.’




It’s about being able to fly.


wings to fly


It’s about finding and embracing the magic in Life.



It’s about recognizing the world has dark places … but still be willing to venture out



It’s about being nimble where evil <or ‘the bad’> tends to win thru stolid unmoving sturdiness.




It’s about not always being nice … but being true of heart.



It’s about being smart not strong.



It’s about breaking some rules in order to be free.


It’s about remembering what ‘can be’ in a reality doing whatever it can possibly do to make us forget.




Far too many of us see a dark world and instead of imagining what could be simply hold on to something in the past because it <a> seems better and <b> seems safer <as known>.





We do not seek any magic we simply seek what we know.



In and of itself that seems like a good idea but as everyone is doing it … and as everyone decides to hold on to their ‘own thing’ we simply stay in our own little NeverLand <Peter Pan’s author made Neverlands these places that are found in the minds of children and each is “always more or less an island” not the same from one child to the next>.



I say that because … well … if we go backwards and hold on to things we become islands.



Avoiding adventure <except in our own mind> and not sharing adventure.




Even worse?


We avoid the rest of the world, the real world, and live in our own little ‘own thing.’







I think more of us need to seek our inner Tinker Bell in 2015. And in doing so … we have a chance to refind the magic in Life and break free of fear and guide ourselves to new and better adventures.






This may sound silly.



This may sound Disneyesque <mostly if you haven’t actually read Peter Pan and only know the Disney Tinker Bell>.



But do not disregard the thought.




Tinker Bell sought something better even when faced with reality. She desired to create the future. She guided from adventure to adventure.



She may not have liked all her companions but she never desired less for them at the expense of something more for the ones who mattered most to her.tinker faith pixie dust trust



And she had pixie dust.



What more could anyone strive for in 2015?



Tap into your inner Tinker Bell and break free of any fear holding you back.



And just a reminder … do not count on Jiminy Cricket for help in 2015.
I wrote this silly New Year’s thought in 2009:

< http://brucemctague.com/warning-new-years-wishes-dependent-upon-jiminy-cricket-are-in-danger >


Enlightened Conflict