Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Action and inaction.

I am reading right now Gary J. Bass' new book "The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide." It's the story of the political machinations that led to Genocide in Bangladesh (what was then called East Pakistan) more than 40 years ago.

I've just started the 400 page tome but I've already happened upon what I believe will be a key theme and a key 'something to think about.' And that's this: Inaction is Action.

Actually, I somewhat live that axiom. My wife, lovely as she is, will often on the weekend see me reading or doing the crossword. She'll ask, 'Do you want to do something?" I almost always reply, "I am doing something." My inaction (which people often regard as lassitude) is action. Lassitude is what I do.

Nixon and Kissinger, knowing that what was then called West Pakistan would slaughter those in East Pakistan chose to do nothing. They took action. Their action was nothing.

In our business we often get asked if we can do such and such for a client or such and such for our agency. Most often, we snap to it and answer the bell.

Sometimes I think maybe it's wiser to do differently.

To do nothing.

Which might be the best thing you can do.

1 comment:

davetrott said...

My wife is Taoist, and part of that philosophy is 'Wu Wei" : action by inaction.
I've read it described as 'when armies fight on a mountain the mountain does nothing. After the armies are dead the mountain is still there'.