How Difficult Change Really is

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
As the former US president Woodrow Wilson famously said, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.”

Submitted: April 25, 2017

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Submitted: April 25, 2017

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As the former US president Woodrow Wilson famously said, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.”  We hear the word ‘Change’ so often that it has now become a cliché which most people do not take seriously and simply disregard when someone claims to make a positive change to the society or system. However, if the aforesaid statement has come from the president of the United States then one wonders as to there must be something potent about the process of bringing change. There are two extremes or opposite scenarios on the control continuum noted below to elucidate the degree of difficulty encountered to effect change and they are;

  1. A controlled environment where all the variables can be influenced to a great extent like a laboratory setting where the process of change can be initiated, monitored and controlled.
  2. An open and hostile environment where most of the variables are beyond control and where there are restraining forces that ferociously nullify any effort to introduce change as that directly affects the status quo and dilutes their grip. A set up controlled by groups, say some mafia organizations or countries in some cases.

Let us examine the two scenarios at some length with some variations to comprehend the drivers, core issues, exponential rise in the degree of resistance as the element of controls loosens, apply to current situations and offer recommendations for both, those who want to make the change and those affected by it.

The study of the process of change in a lab environment does not require any greater explanation as it is fully controlled and deviations would be negligible. As you start moving towards the other extreme, the degree of control goes down and the process becomes more difficult to control. An example could be to monitor an order processing activity where the customer places an order, makes payment and takes delivery. Now if you want to change the process, say from manual to automated order processing system then you can do that by executing the change in a planned manner. Like new online system, imparting training to staff and helping customers to get used to the new process. Such initiatives are easy to execute as there are systems and procedures in place, skilled workers with necessary tools and training at their disposal, common direction, supervision and various organizational controls to oversee progress and correct mistakes as soon as they occur. The people within such set ups are aligned, under control and it is easy to ensure that the process runs smoothly. The key is that there is a well-defined structure of organizational hierarchy with executive powers for the sole purpose of achieving targets and keeping their journey on track.

Now take the other example with the premise that we are gradually reducing controls to gauge the increasing degree of difficulty faced to induce change. At homes, almost all people use televisions and the remote control devices to switch channels.

Project: You as part of this project, try to convince your family members to fix a spot in the room for the remote control where tv is mounted so that it can be easily found by anyone when needed. Try that and then grasp the fact that how difficult the effort really is. Some would find it almost impossible to achieve that simple project milestone and even if you manage to succeed in the short term, you will most assuredly fail in the long run. The reason is that unlike a lab-setting, the controls are weak here. If you still disagree, give it a try.

The other extreme example could be an organization or country where bringing any positive change is almost impossible as there are parallel groups exerting their influence to maintain control of their respective areas with vested interests involved and the fact that the general population is oblivious of their rights, is divided on account of sects and political affiliations and is completely dispersed.

Countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan are appropriate examples of such a milieu. If we analyze the situation of Pakistan for example, we see that there is one prominent political party which is struggling against the indomitable forces of the status quo which have ruthlessly held the nation in their inescapable grip since the country’s independence from the British Empire in 1947. From the perspective of controls and contrary to lab setting case, this is virtually the other extreme where introducing a positive change against the powerful forces of the status quo is immensely difficult, if not utterly impossible.

Pakistan has not been able to free itself from the grip of feudalism despite the fact that it is officially a democracy but in true essence it is still a feudal society where majority of its legislators hail from feudal background. Great majority of its people live under the direct influence of feudal lords and cannot take any action against their wishes and are practically enslaved. Their minds are not free. They live below the human subsistence level, are treated like animals by their tormentors yet they unfortunately revere them. Since legislation is still under the auspices of feudal lords who enjoy legitimate power as well with no intention of sharing it with their people.

It is very interesting to note that those landowners expressly advocate for democracy, not for the sake of people but because it provides a legal cover to hide behind the veil of democracy to continue their filthy game of suppressing people under their illegitimate rule. In other words, Pakistan is a State where there are many smaller states ruled by various warlords who aggressively defend their territories and work as a unified team in view of any threat, like in current scenario the emergence of PTI.

PTI (Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf) is a political party which I deem as a movement that has been struggling to dismantle a gargantuan and complex web of corruption and incompetence that has gripped the country in its iron tentacles. The biggest challenge the party faces is not from the joint opposition that comprises the land grabbers, feudal lords, corrupt politicians, immoral bureaucracy, dishonest religious leaders and anti-state elements but unfortunately from the common ignorance of its people. Like I mentioned earlier, most of the people live under the direct influence of feudal lords and they are in reality the mental slaves. Lack of education and religious ignorance has worsened that fear and added to their misery and helplessness. They are like souls entrapped by devil without realizing that the bond is unreal and does not exist.

A minority of the population lives in the urban areas with access to social media network. They are reasonably educated and mostly support the reformist groups but despite their independence and enlightenment through education, reading and open discussions, they are outnumbered and technically speaking, the country’s future is decided by collective ignorance of the people. That is a main reason why the absolutely corrupt political and religious so called elite keep education out of their focus. They are fully cognizant of the fact that if their people manage to acquire education, they will see the truth, will know about their true intent and will part ways, which they don’t want and will never allow at any cost unless the tide turns against them. In that case they will behave like a skittish cat.

Recommendations:

  • PTI should focus on rural areas. The weightage of their efforts should reflect the rural: urban split. 70 percent of efforts for rural areas so their party workers should actually go out and frequently interact with people.
  • Most of their efforts should be focused on the Punjab, Baluchistan and the KPK provinces.
  • The people living in cities should interact with those living in the rural areas and educate them about the reality. One simple way of doing that is to educate their household employees as most hail from villages.
  • PTI should not use words like ‘corruption’ but they should use words like ‘theft’ because that is what people actually understand and should stress on how bad it is both from the social and religious perspective.
  • Volunteers should tell people living in villages that they are FREE. That they have same rights as their feudal lords or their inglorious rulers.
  • Inculcate self-respect in people contrary to their belief that they alone cannot make any change.
  • Utilize radio as much as possible because it is still an effective tool of communication in far flung areas.
  • Support judiciary so they feel empowered against the forces of evil which is basically the status quo. That also encourages the silent majority to stand up and raise their voice.
  • If my enemy supports the one I see as my friend then he is perhaps not my friend. Convince voters to see things as they are, not as they are shown to them.
  • Bradari system is a curse and people should elect candidates on merit. Convince them that is against the social norms and religious teachings.
  • A thief must be detested and treated as a thief. That must be the approach.
  • Supporting a thief is against the teachings of God.
  • Supporting a thief is like committing a theft which is a great sin.
  • We are a decent and civilized nation and we vehemently detest and condemn those who steal our money, resources and deprive our children of a prosperous future. This should be the key message.

Cheers!


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