Ladies and Gentlemen I invite you to watch the following clip which is very funny and acutely observed. The clip is courtesy of Monty Python.
So while that bizarre argument; or contradiction, is still fresh in our minds lets have a look at the difference between argument and contradiction
a combination of statements, ideas, or features which are opposed to one another.
a situation in which inconsistent elements are present.
the statement of a position opposite to one already made.
synonyms: denial, refutation, rebuttal, countering, counterstatement, opposite;
an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one.
synonyms: quarrel, disagreement, squabble, fight, difference of opinion, dispute, wrangle, clash, altercation, feud, dissension, war of words, contretemps, exchange of views;
a reason or set of reasons given in support of an idea, action or theory.
synonyms: reasoning, line of reasoning, logic, case;
There is at the moment on Social media a pervasive air of negativity regarding austerity and in particular those cuts that are affecting the emergency services, most notably the Police Service. To challenge those views attracts some quite nasty attacks both in general terms and personal. There are deep engrained views and a resistance to change. Now none of us like change. It usually means that we have to give up something which makes our lives a little less comfortable usually. Why would we exchange better for worse?
Most of the time I suspect, change is enforced on us; either through a political system that does not allow democracy or through necessity. One mans terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter as long as the ideal is true and does not change along the way.
Social media may or may not reflect the views of police officers across the country. There are accusations that official police accounts are fluffy, corporate and allow no freedom of expression. At the other end of the scale are the anonymous police accounts that some spew constant negativity on an almost 24 hour basis. I suspect the real story lies somewhere between the two. So do these accounts reflect the views of serving officers across the country. Of course they do, but are they vignettes of a far more general point of view?
Either way, there is a general aversion to change which I can only assume is prevalent in the police service of this country perhaps reflected in social media.
So what makes us resistant to change and in particular in the police service? Some will take the view that is was way better back then. This may be true to a point but we tend to remember the good times never the bad. I once told my grandma that I would have loved to have lived in the forties; only for her to tell me the hardships her family had to endure during the war, literally living day to day waiting for the bombs to drop.
As I mentioned earlier, change usually means sacrifice. None of use like that and whilst no man is meant to be an island, how quickly do we become one so when our own circumstances are threatened; adopting a “not on my doorstep attitude.” It is understandable to point, as those of us with families have to put them first.
But there is another aversion to change and I call it their “comfort blanket.” There are case’s in World War Two where prisoners of war have been released from captivity by their liberators only to remain in their cell. Those four walls that had kept them incarcerated for all those years had become their sanctuary. And so, we take up a position of opposition to the point where it becomes our guiding mantra.
Never seeing an alternative view, never been able to adapt to the ebb and flow of life in the present. That old phrase “Living in the past.” In fact, it becomes a purpose to complain about what ever, whether you agree or not. That is contradiction. The negativity of individuals is infectious and can affect the performance of others in both their work and home life.
Well, whether you agree with change, and through history I suspect no one ever has; it is here. Whether you agree with it is academic. The important thing is how we deal with change. We can become bogged down with how unfair it is, why we shouldn’t change but that doesn’t change the fact that we are now in change.
And so I come back to the argument or contradiction depending on where you sit about change. By all means argue why we should not change, it may get you no where or it may just get some concessions. But to purely contradict is a lesson in futility. I’m not saying we should lie down and take it but to block purely because it is a contrary position regardless is like a snake eating its own tail.
I have also maintained the position regarding our police service is to let the good work that we do speak for itself. No one can take that away from us. And if in the coming years we find ourselves struggling to complete the task that the public rightly expects we complete, then whilst it would be only be fair for us to inform them of our difficulties, it will be for them to decide change through the democratic process.
So if you you prefer contradiction to argument then the final paragraph may be for you.
A father left 17 camels as an asset for his three sons. When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will. The Will of the father stated that the eldest son should get half of 17 camels while the middle son should be given a 1/3rd. The youngest son should be given a 1/9th of the 17 camels. As it is not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, three sons started to fight with each other.
So, the three sons decided to go to a wise man. The wise man listened patiently about the Will.
The wise man, after giving this thought, brought one camel of his own and added the same to 17. That increased the total to 18 camels.
Now, he started reading the deceased father’s will.
Half of 18 = 9. So he gave the eldest son 9 camels
1/3rd of 18 = 6. So he gave the middle son 6 camels
1/9th of 18 = 2. So he gave the youngest son 2 camels.
Now add this up: 9 plus 6 plus 2 is 17 and this leaves one camel, which the wise man took back.
Moral: The attitude of negotiation and problem solving is to find the 18th camel i.e. the common ground. Once a person is able to find the common ground, the issue is resolved. It is difficult at times. However, to reach a solution, the first step is to believe that there is a solution. If we think that there is no solution, we won’t be able to reach any !!