In a nation, in a marriage, in a single mind, there are changes and
oversights and emphases. One person is focused on the right hair cut
while another feels bad wearing shoes that don't shine. One person is
secure with the right bank balance while another is happy with a
loaded gun in the house. The only way we can all concentrate on one
idea, one symbol, one principle, one truth is to be forced to. Even
then, it is going to be lip service to the official line while
internally, minds and opinions go off in their own directions.
One of the most powerful forces is a group of open minds free to
object, add, subtract, modify. Group discussion is the tool of the
ancients and it is the tool of the modern scientists. The broader the
range of the group, the more encompassing the resultant conversation
can be. Let's say that a basic tool of men is challenge. I certainly
don't say that women avoid challenging others but for some women,
being nice, being supportive, being friendly is more basic and feels
better than challenge and opposition and correction. Let's say that a
basic tool of women is indeed supportive encouragement. I don't say
that men aren't supportive or good at being encouraging. They
certainly can be.
It makes sense to check out ideas, projects, possible changes in a
group that includes both sexes. Similarly, a group that includes
young people and senior citizens has a better chance of hearing the
reactions that matter. We are beginning to see that giving our two
cents and grasping the way people see things is more valuable when we
have contributors from all races, religions, political persuasions,
ethnicities and social classes. That is the strength of a house of
parliamentary procedures, whether it is a dorm council, a church
board, a corporate board or a state legislature. Yes, discussions can
lead to bullying, to ignoring the needs or fears of a minority and a
thousand other tricks and mishaps. But a group consideration is a
very powerful tool and it grows more powerful as the participants
learn to state their views and absorb those of others.
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