In the challenge of developing this model I have had to resist the temptation to define ‘goodness’ in terms of specific behaviors or values. But that said, the realities of the world around us require I deal with those actions that cannot be considered good in the context of a “Good Decision”.
Actions motivated by cruelty are harmful and fall outside the context of a good decision. For the purposes of this Post, cruelty is the intentional, conscious imposition of pain, suffering, and trauma on another being. In the discussion of cruelty, there are two ‘truisms’ you may have heard that I have found to be untrue. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” and “sometimes you must be cruel to be kind”. This age of social media has disproved the “sticks and stones” assumption when one sees the destructive product of cruel trolling . Cruelty in the name of kindness is often used when a form of discipline is required. There is no parent who at sometime has not had to curb a child’s decision by preempting a ill advised or dangerous action. The child suffers frustration. Suffering however need not be traumatic and good discipline must be born of good motivation. Cruelty is motivated by fear, anger, and frequently a desire for revenge on the part of the perpetrator. The good parent or leader/supervisor undertakes the corrective action with no intent to diminish, humiliate or traumatize. A key component in growing and being fully aware of one’s Sense of Good, is embedding a bone deep awareness of the need to prevent your actions as a parent or a supervisor from generating within yourself a capacity for complacent cruelty. Currently, in our political discourse, cruel insults and threats have risen to a level of normalcy and even recreation. These demeaning tirades are often issued with a barely disguised glee only to get mopped up occasionally by issuing conspicuously insincere apologies. At the level of power and influence, cruelty becomes extremely harmful and too frequently fatal. Being a legislator or community leader of any nature carries a natural burden of suffering because whatever action you take from the position of authority, it will cross the internal authority of some of the minority members of your constituency or community. This natural suffering of leadership can be tolerable only as long as your choices, actions and words are motivated primarily by the integrity and the maturity of your Sense of Good and not out of a need or simple desire to inflict harm. The four Pauses of The Good Decision are designed as a discipline tp facilitate deep integrity grounded in your personal development of a real time, mature Sense of Good.