Sunday, May 04, 2008

On pain, hatred, and the cause of suffering...

"People hate those who make them feel their own inferiority."
- Phillip Chesterfield (1694–1773)

I've been thinking a lot about this quote today.

A few friends of mine are being hammered by their peers for daring to challenge the status quo of a trade association that has been rather ineffective for quite a while now. After trying and failing to get them to listen to reason (or to listen, period), a few of my friends started their own trade show which better suits the retailers, the manufacturers, and most of the reps.

Apparently the vitriol has been pretty caustic from members of the less-than-effective trade organization, calls for boycotts, screaming, and general unpleasantness. It just makes me sad. We have a fairly small, tight industry, and there's no gain in these sorts of political machinations. Things get said that are hard to forget.

300-plus years ago Phillip, Earl of Chesterfield made this statement. I have no idea what someone said or did to him, but my guess is that he exposed someone's lack of competence and that caused a small firestorm in Parliament. I don't enjoy exposing incompetence, but it inevitably happens in the course of trying to be effective and move in a direction of growth. I feel badly when it happens, but I don't think we can cease to seek growth to save (or salve) the feelings of people who are content with stasis.

So it may be inevitable to create a situation where people find themselves in pain. I guess the Buddha was right—pain is inevitable, but suffering is a choice.



Susie said...

I often wonder why so many are adverse to changing things as well. It is such a struggle when fresh ideas are shot down, and the debate turns to debating. Putting people in place to lead, but not allowing leadership!

Good luck to you & your friends.

mk said...

I don't know who you are, Susie, but would you like to be on our board?