Thursday, September 13, 2007

Input and Output cannot be the same (Change requires Acceptance)

Alright. So. If you want to change something, then lets say the something you want to change is the input. Let's also say that whatever is going to result from this change will be the output.

Now. Imagine you're creating a machine that turns squares into circles. I'm not sure why you'd want this, but perhaps you have an obsession with round things. Maybe you hate corners. Whatever the case may be, you want to turn squares into circles. So, this machine has an input and an output. But what shapes should the input and output be?

Well, in a lot of the social 'machines' we see today, they would both be circles. Wait, what? That wouldn't make sense, because then how would you get a square into this machine in the first place? This machine would be useless, because there is nothing accomplished by making a circle become a circle.

Instead, the input should be a square. This may seem unbelievably obvious, but think of what trying to change a person is like, and how most people tend to go about it.

When we have ideals about how someone should be, we generally try to make them fit into those ideals. However, in order to be willing to change, s/he needs to feel accepted for who s/he already is. Unfortunately, when we try to change somebody, usually we start by expecting them to be the person we want them to be. This is ridiculous and unrealistic. A square cannot fit into a machine that has a circle for its input, and neither can a person welcome your suggestions until they are accepted into you.

You can't have your input and output be the same, or you will never do anything. You must be willing to let in someone that isn't perfect or you will never be able to appreciate anyone.