Monday, May 18, 2009

Learning to Make Decisions

We in the USA live in a Representative Democracy that is considered to be a Republic. It is not a "Pure Democracy" as decribed by Aristotle. That, in Aristotle's view, is anarchy. The Republican form of government is based on a shared set of values we call "The Constitution" and allows the citizens to vote on men and women to represent them in accordance with that set of values. A Republic requires a citizenry with great interpersonal skills.

First is the skill or value of respecting other people. Dictators have not learned to be respectful so they attempt to make decisions that are selfish and self serving. Good decisions in the family, church and community must serve all the people not just the people in control.

Secondly, we must learn how to listen patiently to each other and learn from people with whom we disagree. The underlying characteristic for that skill is humility. My own temperament is skewed toward intellectual competence so I tend to be prideful rather than humble. Unfortunately I have to learn humility and patience along with listening over and over again.

More thoughts on this later.

Gary Sweeten

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