Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Balancing FLOW's Commitment to the Good with a Commitment to Diversity

"But isn't the whole point about FLOW that some freely chosen entities are "better" than others because they are more healthy or sustainable or eco friendly or market friendly?"

The great challenge, the great tension, that we face is between:

1. A radical tolerance which refuses to force other people to live the way that we think that live should be lived.
2. A passionate personal commitment to making life for ourselves and others better.

Often tolerance collapses into neglect and even nihilism. Often a commitment to the good becomes dogmatism and a desire to control others.

Personally I combine these two by means of

1. A profound recognition that people are far more different in what makes them happy and well than I can imagine.
2. The realization that none of us really knows what is good in the long run.

I believe that if I was allowed to create the well-being schools that I want to create that many parents would want their children to come to them. But maybe not. Steve Jobs won with Apple and lost with NeXT. The NeXT computer was cool, but it did not win in the marketplace.

I can imagine a world of lifestyle corporations some of which sell new culture/Whole Foods/Montessori lifestyles and others of which sell culturally conservative/country fried food/Baptist lifestyles and who knows which one would bring more happiness to people?