Sunday, January 27, 2013

Motivations and Meaning- What is your best possible world?

I have been home most of January writing and hanging out with my family.  As I get ready to go back on the road and start a mega tour, I'm sure my mind will be more attenuated to the work of storytelling and I will have something or other to say.

I have a show for adults today.  I often have adults in an audience, but I am not typically a storyteller people hire for straight up grown up shows.  It allows me to pull things out of my repertoire that don't get a lot of air time.  It is always fun.

Today, I put up a piece on my Facebook page about motivations and choices.  I wasn't going to post it here, but it seems like perhaps I should.  It is more about philosophy and politics than storytelling, but I think it articulates ideas I have about education, parenting and art pretty well.  So, here it is.

 have had a theory rolling around in my head for a while that has finally found its way onto paper.  It is not a new idea, by any means, but it is a simple one. 

In order to figure out why an organization does what it does you need only ask one question:

What is the best possible world for this organization?  Once you understand their best possible world, examine what they are doing and consider how close they are to achieving that.

In the best possible world for an insurance company, everyone would pay really high premiums and the company would never pay a dime of it out in claims.

In the best possible world for a for profit prison, lots of people would be locked up all the time, even for crimes that wouldn’t seem to carry a need for a jail sentence.

In the best possible world for government, every citizen would be productive, safe, healthy and law abiding.  (How to achieve this is the basis for the turmoil all governments face)

In the best possible world for professional athletes, they would play in state of the art facilities, make gobs of cash, be showered with adulation, play until they drop dead and never get hurt.

In the best possible world for artists, they would be compensated for their art such that they didn’t have to do anything else, they could set their own schedules, their work would always be universally acclaimed, and they wouldn’t go through dry spells.

In the best possible world for gun manufacturers, there would be no rigorously enforced regulations on guns and people could buy as many as they wanted.

In the best possible world for corporations, workers work for the absolute smallest amount of money for as many hours as possible without guarantees of any kind about employment, safety, or sanitary conditions producing something that the public pays top dollar to have.  (I base this theory on third world countries and America and Europe at the start of the Industrial Revolution)

In the best possible world for workers, they are compensated enough to live comfortably alone, with a single partner, or to raise families with healthy food, good living conditions, good schools, a vacation every now and then, access to good healthcare, the ability to send their kids to college if they can, and all while living in a safe place.

In the best possible world for teachers, every student comes to school fed, well rested, cared for, prepared for the day and not only willing, but eager to learn.   Educator’s needs are supported by the administration: local, state and federal.  (I’ve never met a teacher who requested to have thirty kids in a class)

In the best possible world for the anti choice crowd, all children are brought into this world because every child is a blessing that is loved. 

In the best possible world for the choice crowd, women only bring children into the world they plan to care for.

In the best possible world for a child, they are loved, cared for, kept safe and prepared for the world.

The list, of course, is endless.  When you see something that makes you angry, think for a bit about what is at the heart of the motivation.  What is the best possible world in that group’s opinion?  Who is that best possible world serving?  How close are they to achieving their best possible world?


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