Saturday, September 12, 2015

Catalyst for Wonder

The Oracle's and Gurus in old stories are seldom the ones on street corner and pedestals shouting loudly. They live simply, or hidden, and have to be sought out. When they are found, they end up doing more listening than speaking. Finally they give some sort of cryptic message that is more question than answer. The seeker leaves with their mind boggled, wondering deeply about the meaning of what has been said. I think that is the point. A catalyst for wonder.

Carl XVI Gustav is the King of Sweden. I am not a fan of the idea of hereditary monarchy, but I must admit to having softened to Queen Elizabeth as she has become more of a Granny figure. Grannies are awesome. The Swedish King has spent most of his life in study for the role as head of government.  He has spent time looking at history, sociology, political science, tax law, and economics. He followed a broad program looking at the court system, social institutions, trade unions and employer organisations. He has spent time in factories, banks and at the UN. He was born to be King. He spent his life preparing. He has no power, but a lot to offer. I haven't read a lot about him, but the little bit I have suggests this is the kind of King I could like. 

Me and my awesome Gran

We talk of the idea of Servant Leaders. People who are there to give rather than take. I don't like the idea of just flipping the hierarchy. I don't like the idea of seeing clients, or citizens or anyone as King. I prefer the idea of partnership, but partnership that changes the rules of how we engaged. 

Most times we meet with someone and give something, there is an exchange. 'Giving' builds an expectation of something in return. We want things to be fair. But there are lots of types of fair. Does everyone give an equal amount? Do we give according to our means? What if we don't want to give? Is it fair to force me to do something I don't want to do? What if someone takes more they receive, and aren't grateful? What if someone gives a lot, but then Lords around with inferred power? 

Fairness requires accounting. Accounting requires something to be reduced to a number. Reducing something to a number removes the flavour.

Independence is powerful. You can give with zero expectation of return. No expectation, no disappointment. Everything received is a gift. Initially democratic politicians used to take turns, without pay, to run things. Pay was introduced because people without money couldn't afford to not work. Professionalising politics meant that it could be democratised. It would be fantastic if one day, when we have enough, people could start taking turns.

The Independent King or Queen is the one who can gain wisdom and have no power. They can live simply and have to be sought out. They can spend a life in study, be fantastic at listening, ask the occasional beautiful question and be a catalyst for wonder. 

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