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Sunday, September 01, 2013

Who's winning the war?

Confidence is a mystery to me.

i don't have it.  i don't know where people get it.  i tend to think those who appear to have it either have the introspective powers of a particularly dense avocado or they're bluffing.  Hoping everything will turn out and no one will know they had no idea what they were doing.

Maybe it's a lack of caring.  Freedom, Mr. Kristofferson tells us, is nothing left to lose.  i've been there, calling out a bully who had been harassing me for months.  i didn't want to fight him.  i didn't have any confidence that i would win.  i strongly suspected he would back down though i didn't know this for sure but i had reached my limit.  i no longer wanted to keep living as we had been and was ready to welcome any change in the relationship.

Do you know the difference between tactics and strategy?  Tactics is winning the battle.  Strategy is for winning the war.  i'm long on tactics, strategy, not so much.  i won that encounter with the bully.  He backed down.  He lost face.  He changed tactics.

Bout a month later he jumped me and put me in the hospital.  i won a battle but lost the war.

Strategic thinkers have to have confidence.  Supreme confidence.  They can accept losses, lost battles, setbacks, lost resources because they have a goal in mind, a plan and they follow through on it.  Sure, they have to be flexible to adjust the plan to unforeseen circumstances which may arise but they keep their eyes on the outcome.  They believe in the mission.

They believe in the mission.

No, not a cut-and-paste typo, i meant to repeat the words, "they believe in the mission," because they are now repeating like an echo in the hollow dome of my empty noggin.  Sometimes whilst writing it seems i get the answers i seek.  Believe in the mission.  Is this where confidence comes from?  Belief?  Some have confidence in themselves, they believe in their abilities.  They trust their own cleverness, skills, strength, character.  Some have confidence in authorities.  They obey because they are assured those in power have their best interests in mind.  That they see the picture clearly and wholly, whilst the boots on the ground see only in part.  Strategy vs. tactics.  Or maybe they trust the cause, the law, the movement, the belief in the greater good gives them confidence?

i find it interesting then that our culture is intent on tearing down all authorities.  No one is to be trusted, Scully.  Governments, churches, corporations, the police, the UN, no one.  You can only trust yourself! the world preaches.  You and you alone know what's best for you.  What you choose is fine as long as you don't impose your beliefs on someone else.  It's an interesting philosophy.  It's even arisen inside the church.  If someone dares to teach, it is without a doubt there will be a kraken's worth of well meaning tentacles reminding the teacher of their sinfulness and warning them of self-righteousness to drag them back down.  i wonder what war it's trying to win?  Where will we be when there are no more reasons for confidence?  When no one has the authority to do anything?  When no one has the confidence to teach?  When each does what is right in his own eyes?