Have you ever been told, “Don’t just stand there, do something?”
Often times, “doing something” is a terrible idea, yet folks cannot seem to let go of this impulse to pretend that “doing something” will help the situation.
Here’s an important observation of Seth Godin regarding our impulse to ‘do something’:
“doing something makes us feel like we’re making the problem go away. Sometimes the problem isn’t going to go away. Everything we do at a funeral isn’t going to bring the person back from the dead. Everything we do in a courtroom isn’t going to help in the short run, even the long run, the victim of that crime. The idea that people in government need to ‘do something and do it right now’ because we are in pain is one of the weakest points of democracy. . . .
The alternative is to stand there. Not to stand there and ignore the situation, but to stand there and accept the situation. Yes, this happened. Yes, this situation exists. Yes, we are uncomfortable. Yes, the answer is complicated. Yes, we don’t know exactly what to do. So, we’re going to stand here. We’re going to stand here not ignoring it but immersing ourselves in it, thinking as hard as we can to understand–maybe for a second, maybe longer–what that other person, what that other force, what that situation needs.”
Seth Godin, Akimbo podcast, Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There, August 8, 2019.
Sometimes, good things come to those who wait.
Sometimes, doing nothing is a good thing. It gives you time to think about the situation.
And that’s the good news for today. It seems like our legislature has given some things a bit of thought, and as a result, we’re seeing several promising changes to our criminal laws, which took effect a few days ago, on October 1st, 2019. Continue Reading