I’m not sure if it was because of Mr. Spock or Dr. Spock but there is a generation of managers and business leaders out there who seem to have great difficulty being human.
I was asked the other day what I thought about a particular person’s management style. Before I knew it, I had said “I have never seen him in a human relationship with any other person”. My friend – who had asked the question – was clearly taken aback. As I thought about it, so was I.
Both our reactions had little to do with the content of my observation. Each had accepted it as accurate. What took both of us off our stride was the fact that it was undeniably true – and the awful implications that flowed from that fact. There are people who seem to be rolling around on the proverbial billiard table – bouncing off everyone that they encounter.
It took several draws on my cigar and half a very dry martini before I could re-approach the subject. “You know”, I said, “he has to find a non-instrumental reason that other people are on the planet.” And that’s what it came down to.
The question today is, “what is the purpose of people”?
I remember spending some time with the great English author Iris Murdoch. I asked her a variation of the same question. Her response stayed with me all these years. “People are here to have all the experiences that I will never have the time to have. My purpose in life is to honor that sacrifice by continually listening to their stories and learning from the lessons they have learned.”
So, what reason appeals to you? Why are there other people on the earth?
© Dr Earl R Smith II