Friday, February 26, 2010

Breath in – Breath out

Is it me, or is there something in the drinking water?  There seems to be a movement afoot in social settings – industry, churches, government, designed around the concept that we are a bunch of stultifying dunderheads.  We need to be taught how to do things we’ve been doing reasonably well for years.  There is a “How to” guide now for just about everything from counting socks to boiling an egg.  Need to run a little group?  There’s a guide for that, and yes, oh, by the way, you must take the online course for that.  Need to manage a small team?  There’s a guide for that. Need to (fill in the blank).  Yup, we’ve got a self teaching tool for that too.

Where did all this come from?  I think we older (more senescent) folk can determine the answer when we go out to our driveways, get into our automobiles, start them up and head on into traffic.  No one – I mean NO ONE follows any rules, not even the laws of physics.  By the way, if you would like to live to see your grandkids, drive like everyone around you are aliens from Mars who have no idea what a stop sign is, let alone a turning signal.

It wasn’t long before managers and leaders from mega-churches to post offices figured out that they had better retrain us and retrain us fast – and they want to do it the same way the Republicans want to address healthcare reform: starting from “a clean piece of paper.”  Care not a wit, and make no assumptions that you might be teaching an auditorium of neurosurgeons about how to put ointment on a mosquito bite.  Just follow the teaching guide.

My theory is that this really all began because someone noticed the caliber of what is coming out of our education systems.  Easy solution: RETRAIN EVERYONE!

I have another theory: that this will meet up with a swift demise.  Something similar, perhaps, to when Jack Welch hit GE and determined that the business was running a tad inefficiently with all this type of nonsense going on, the layers it made in the structure, and the general “statist” approach on the factory floor.  Not to mention that relatively normal people (i.e., normal smart people) didn’t need to be given a guide on how to breath.  Suddenly, a Ronald Reagan or William F. Buckley character will come on the scene like a hero in the white hat who arrives just before the train runs over the victim and stands athwart history yelling stop!

In the mean time, as for me, I’ll duck my head, learn about how to count my socks and make a boiled egg, then move on to the next insipid, sophomoric guide to a better life.

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