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Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Science of Agreements


Contracts are the way of the world. Even the Old and New Covenants are contracts. These are commonly written parcels of collectively accepted wisdom. But, often, they’re verbal — informal instruments of understanding.


There involves the conveyance of trust — the upholding of respect. Yet, either or any party is able to freely renege on the deal in accord with either morality or immorality.


Agreements are tenuous, and at harmony only with personal insight.


Is there a better manifestation of God’s free will as it’s issued, for use, to humanity?


Agreements are the goal of decision-making, a quest for harmony, and every moment has its share of tensions proffering them.


Accepting the Prevailing Truth


There are many things forever beyond us. One of these is the common folly of trying to order the compliance of other people.


We will make our “agreements” with them, but they may find them disagreeable, the way they’re re-churned, or they might even operate off differing premises.


Communication, as in the Tower of Babel story, is making a mess of our goals to conquer our worlds, for communication assumes separate entities are involved. We all see differently.


Accepting difference, indifference, passion and ambivalence is part of the wiser life.


Nothing in the communicative world remains static for long.


Using this Science to Best Effect


Winston Churchill said of Russia in 1939, [It’s] “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”


The status of foreign policy is one thing. Another, altogether, is this enigma of agreement; of he-said, she-said.


Our best platform is in seeing the presence of the vast communicative chasm, yet having the understanding to surmount it. This is accepting other people’s realities — the way they see the world (their worldview) — and using that, as well as ours, in envisioning solutions we can all live with.


Agreeing – Where We Can


We cannot always agree with people or situations we find ourselves in. Especially where the truth lags, where it’s not respected, and we struggle in our indignation.


Disagreeing well, then, is an art of combining discernment, courage, and wit. Nothing helps a disagreement get over the line better than good-natured and well-intentioned humour.


But, honesty and transparency, then, are the golden keys for satisfactory agreements.


How can we expect people to read our minds? Enigmas we’re not to be.


Besides those difficult to negotiate with, and these are usually few, our best chance is via sensible reasonability, communicated plain and simply.


© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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