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Your Views: Failed perceptions can lead to failed logic in world events

POSTED: April 14, 2011 1:49 p.m.

An indescribable event beyond comprehension is said to have been the genesis of our universe. This concept was called the Big Bang by its most famous detractor and the name stuck.

Today, we accept as fact this once-controversial theory. We understand that an expanding universe offers a random array of stars and a sky full of possible patterns. Early civilizations looked into the night sky and saw things they understood. They saw archers, hunters, rams, bulls and an assortment of other creatures that eventually outlined their maps of the heavens. They found patterns that they recognized and preferred. This tendency to find what we would like to find does not always serve us well.

We often find what we expect to find. A few decades ago, our government planned a small military operation to help ensure liberty to a small island nation to our South. There were assurances that surprise would work to our advantage. There were beliefs that the local population would welcome us with open arms.

Yet, Castro and his government endured. Today, we are expanding our involvement in the Middle East seeking to bring democracy to a people who do not necessarily want it. Often, we are not welcomed beyond the utility of removing an unwanted government. Then, the unceasing need to fill a power vacuum begins again.

Certainly, we can outline the most comprehensive and detailed plans that readily meet our own expectations. Yet, connecting the dots without wisdom only reveals the fallacies of our own imagination. Effectiveness means that we cannot ignore the failed logic of radical fundamentalism.

We have to take the time to understand the dynamics of the situation that we are in. Radical fundamentalism is not a force that can be reasoned with or easily stopped. We need to learn to communicate in concepts that will be understood by the culture that we are dealing with.

What are the payoffs of their behaviors within the context of their perceptions? Sure, patience and reason will work over time, but our expectations can get us in trouble.

Mickey F. Maddox


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