On Grace, in Victory and in Defeat: Is this really where we want to stay?

On Grace, in Victory and in Defeat:
Is this really where we want to stay?

Being gracious in defeat didn’t always make one a looser. Lacking grace in victory was not always a virtue. But times have changed, and not for the better. Despite global warming, the world seems a colder, gloomier place. Mutual respect has become anachronistic. And the trend is accelerating. And like a virus, it has spread from our leaders to all of us, and then from us to them, just to make sure our lack of grace is reinforced.

Behaviorist inspired propaganda techniques designed to demonize opponents during armed conflicts are obvious examples. The Republic of Colombia made that evident when the recent popular plebiscite almost destroyed the peace process everyone claimed as their own. But the tradition is very long and laced with deception and disinformation. The necessity for such tactics, sadly, are inherent in the concept of democracy in its essence as majority rule. Information is a sine qua non for political decision at all levels, and garbage in generates garbage out but one person’s garbage is another’s spice. From one perspective, the People need clear, complete, honest and objective information in order to make informed decisions but that is only if one has faith in the People’s ability to make productive decisions.

Most political leaders mouth belief in that concept but in reality, completely reject it. Their real perceptions is that the majority needs to be herded, and misinformation, appeals to emotion, especially fear, are the preferred tactics. And in order to create permanence in the attitudes so carefully crafted by such means, it needs to be seasoned with disdain, antagonism and anger. No place for grace there so good losers and good winners, in either case seeking reconciliation, are anathema. Thus we find ourselves where we are.

Is this really where we want to stay?

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2016; all rights reserved

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