In principle, every encounter, every meeting, is an opportunity to start anew. It is good to learn from the past but not be artificially constrained by it.
Just because we have spent a lot of money or effort on something (referred to by economists as sunk costs) is not by itself justification for spending more. The proper decision criterion for spending money or effort is how it might affect the future, not how it might change the past. Revenge too may create the illusion of making the past better but in fact only makes the future worse.
We cannot change the past by the decisions we make today, but we can change our feelings about the past by making good decisions for tomorrow.
Practical Tip: Glance back over your shoulder, but not so much that you stumble on what’s ahead. Let the past inform the future, but not dominate it.
Experiences from our past are like rocks, best used to pile up and stand upon, see clearly, and step off into the future in any direction—not to be used for building walls.
This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.
Here’s what Craig says in the video
Hi everybody. Hey it’s Craig Freshley here.
Just finished a Quaker Meeting in this room where a woman said, “Understanding is always partial.” What a good reminder. You know sometimes I’m apt to think that I understand it all but I do well to keep in mind that I never understand it all. There are always other people that have a piece of the truth. There is always more for me to learn.
When I think I know it all, for one, I miss the opportunity of anybody else being able to contribute. And two, I miss the opportunity of me learning anything new.
Understanding it’s great. It’s wonderful for me to be able to say, “I get it, I understand that.” But it’s also great to be able to say, “I don’t understand it at all. I don’t know what else is to be revealed.”
You can help your group by always remembering that understanding is always partial.
In principle, money absolutely matters but it’s not the only thing that matters. Money represents many valuable things yet fails to account for many things we value. Group decisions all about money often fail to consider adverse long-term effects on our emotions, on our relations, and on other groups, including future generations. This results in conflict at other times or in other places.
Money-based decisions also tend to miss opportunities that do not show up in the financial accounts of the alternatives: opportunities to increase long-term trust, peace, happiness, and other rewards in waiting.
Decisions motivated by profit tend to focus on short-term selfish impact rather than long-term community impact.
Practical Tip: When making group decisions, consider all potential costs and benefits. Consider how it will affect long-term peace among the group. Consider impacts outside the scope of your financial accounting: impacts on society at large, on the environment, on future generations.
The golden rule is: “Treat others as you would like to be treated,” not, “He with the most gold rules.” Actually, happiness does not result from having money or from ruling other people; it results from being at peace.
In principle, there are at least two ways to solve every problem. When we are able to be nonjudgmental, we are able to see problems not as problems at all but as misalignments. For example, the problem is not that I am right and you are wrong, it is simply that we see things differently. The …read more
In principle, a virtue of most decision-making systems such as Robert’s Rules of Order is that for a group to consider an idea, at least two members need to think it worthy of the full group’s time. A motion needs a second in order to be considered. Requiring that I get one other person bought into …read more