How you understand the nature of human beings matters if you’re leading or participating in an organisation, bringing up a family, or taking part in society.
We seem to run many organisations as if we’re convinced that, just below the surface, people are a dark mass of selfishness, reactivity, laziness, resentment and despondency. How else to account for the ways we push, judge, pressurise, scare, imprison one another? So much of what we call ‘best practice’ does exactly that, even at the same time as it looks civilised, decent, and obvious.
Of course, all of those qualities are present in human beings. But are they our foundational qualities? Should we construct everything primarily as a way of containing them? Should we continue to convince ourselves that any other approach is impossible, futile, or simplistic wishful thinking?
What energy we would free up if we attuned ourselves instead towards the natural capacities for communication, connection, reciprocity, generosity, love, and forgiveness that we all possess. And what possibility if we oriented ourselves towards building organisations and societies in which they could reach their full expression.