Imagine an invisible force so malevolent that it can crush the hearts and minds of people without ever touching them, an entity so dark and toxic that it can silence the passionate, stifle the curious and cower the brave.
This evil exists. I have known this horror and I have learned its name: THEM.
Whenever a group gets together to bring about some kind of positive change, there’s a moment when the mood (which had been optimistic and exciting) suddenly crashes to earth as someone mentions THEM.
What about THEM? You’ll never get it past THEM. It’ll get squashed in committee and destroy your career as a warning to anyone else who tries to change things around THEM.’ And such is the power of THEM that the mere mention of their name is usually enough to strangle the most courageous vision.
Which is actually how it works, because you’ll never see THEM in the room where the important discussions are happening. Chances are we’ve never even met THEM, let alone talked to THEM.
Even so, we’ve made up our minds about THEM. We’ve concluded they don’t understand or appreciate us, they don’t listen to us and it’s pretty obvious they don’t trust us because they don’t include us in any of their discussions. So naturally, we don’t understand, appreciate, listen to, trust or include THEM.
Which is a shame, because if we did, they’d no longer be THEM.
They’d be US.