Chapter 42 – To relieve the tension, one or both of the sides must move towards the other. Or else the tension will remain.
Which side will move? Which side should move? Remember you are probably on side B, doing the pulling.
How far to pull? The further from the resting state, the higher the tension.
In general we dislike tension, change and upheaval. In medieval times we feared The Stranger, and newcomers to the village needed a letter of introduction, had to report to the chief constable and to keep their whereabouts updated there.
Pestilence, robbers and sociopaths were all successfully kept at bay by our ancestors, or else we wouldn’t be here today.
The scepticism of, and resistance to, change is deep rooted and well founded. You thought you had cloaked yourself in the magician’s robes, but you appear to have stepped off your broom in full sight of those aghast at your coming. Change is not fun, as Niccolò Machiavelli noted:
“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones.”
Success is not assured. Benefits are not certain. If you are convinced, then do like Cortez: burn your boats. You had better have a plan B at the ready. Be prepared to lead the breach of the ramparts and risk your reputation irrevocably. Stretch the tension properly and keep at it until your Luddites come around.
The resistors? Again quoting from Machiavelli’s The Prince:
“A man who is used to acting in one way never changes; he must come to ruin when the times, in changing, no longer are in harmony with his ways.”
Of course you understand Darwinism (more on this later). Machiavelli also wrote:
“People should either be caressed or crushed. If you do them minor damage they will get their revenge; but if you cripple them there is nothing they can do. If you need to injure someone, do it in such a way that you do not have to fear their vengeance.”
Read your Machiavelli. His advice has withstood 400 years. Be tough, then nice. NOT nice, then tough.
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