Posted by: rolfsky | June 4, 2010

there is no glory in “I told you so”

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Why are moaners jerks? Because they’re not adding anything to the conversation, they’re merely causing strife because they can.

Even when they see the problem coming, what do they do in their moment of power? Whine, warn, and admonish?

If everybody recognizes the problem already exists, they’re just stealing valuable time and air when we could be getting real work on a solution done. If nobody else recognizes the problem, then what they should really be doing is trying to convince.

Convincing is not restating your assessment of the situation repeatedly in louder and louder words. I’ve been there, it doesn’t work. Really.

The word “convince” has two Latin roots:

  • con- /(com-)  – “with”, or “a lot”
  • vincere – “to conquer”

Now, you can read the “con” prefix as an “intensive” so the word means “to conquer resolutely”, of you can read the other meaning as “with”. This would change the meaning of convince to mean “mutual victory”.

In order to win this fight, you’re going to have to work with your opponent and come to a mutual conclusion. This may mean changing your method, your media, your language or even your dress if it’s important enough.

Just because you are right, doesn’t mean anybody has to listen to you. Any more than you are required to listen to them.

Al Gore is not a jerk, because he believes we’re destroying our planet with greenhouse gases, and he’s doing something about it. To get his message across, he created a new piece of media in the form of a lecture and a movie, accessible to entirely new audiences. He did this while maintaining his credibility with a different generation, by dressing in a suit and tie to deliver his message. Clever, eh?

Because ultimately, what good is “knowing” what’s going to happen, if you don’t do anything about it? The “I told you so”, is a joyless victory shared by gumbling I-told-you-so-er’s on the porch of a house in a world they saw coming, and did nothing to stop.

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