Day 13

Day 13

A lucky day for me, being born on a 13th but not so for some, or so it’s said. Friday the 13th, 1307, legend (only) has it, is when the French King ordered the arrest of hundreds of Knights Templar, to steal their resources. It’s also 13 guests at the last supper, one of whom was a traitor.

Today was lucky for some. More people in New Zealand recovered from COVID-19 than were diagnosed with it. And the numbers of new cases has dropped again, but early release was unlikely.  Seemingly unconnected, the police declared in a new interpretation of the law that they had a lot more power than previously thought – to enter property and so forth – if that had reasonable grounds to believe bubbles were mixing!  You’ve got to laugh, really. But the reasonable grounds provides a check, a self policing check that is open to review, but nonetheless an important check.

Little Kids Having Fun Outdoors

Overseas, in the UK, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to Intensive Care, which has to be concerning, while the Sussexes competed with that news, and announced their new charity, telling the media, that they felt “compelled” to release it now.

Given half the world is compelled to stay at home, you’d have to wonder where that compulsion came from, right now. But that’s a part of life that was weird long before COVID-19 came along in December last year.

I read an excellent article today comparing the impact of World War II with the current situation. It seems trite in terms of global impacts, deaths etc, but it compared the business transformation that the war brought to many American companies, with what might be possible now.

In small ways, we can see already that for knowledge workers, the ability to work remotely at scale, is both achievable and in many ways, helpful. We might not require all the space, or type of space, that we’ve had before, or many of the other tools of our trades. There’s new questions we hadn’t even thought of before, that need answers. One of mine is if my breakfast bar stool that I use for work, which has started squeaking, can be replaced during the Lockdown. Probably not, but seriously we knew that working remotely is possible – we had all the tools – but looking back, already we can see how timid our prior attempts have been. Do change resisters rule the roost during times of prosperity?

Yes, prosperity. Who knew that a month ago we were in a prosperous economy? You barely know it when it’s there, but you soon know when you’re not! The speed in change and the enforced nature of the change are the differences in this crisis. We’ve gone from prosperity to crisis in days, as a consequence of the government closing us down. I’m not aware of this happening before.

So, now is the time to make the changes for the new world, that we’ve been too timid, had too much resistance, and had excuses not to do, even though it was the right thing.

Virtual bubbles unite!

Stephen

p.s. In searching for a Knights Templar stock photo I noticed there were 13 pages of them!

So I chose a Last Supper theme, ever hopeful we might be out of our cave soon. It’s from Prague – The fresco of Last Supper in church kostel Svatého Václava by S. G. Rudl (end of 19. cent.).

And just for fun, if you’ve made it this far:

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Rugby on 9/11

If you enjoy Rugby Union it’s a feast right now. There’s always something less tense about watching two teams other than your own battle it and the England vs Argentina and South Africa vs Wales games had plenty of tension with a result that any one-eyed ABs supporter could live with. Although you’d have to say surely that penalty goal was in?! Lots of the action was happening while American was remembering the murder of its people on September 2001 in New York and Washington DC. Was I the only one that realised I was much more interested in the Rugby than in remembering 9/11? I guess 9/11 will go (and perhaps already has gone) down in history as one of those dates like Friday 13 where we remember bad things happen and to be cautious about.

On Friday 13 October 1307  French King Phillipe IV conspiring with Pope Clement V commenced the arrest of the Knights Templar. Most of their alleged crimes were related to the sort of claptrap we now view as laughable such as denying religion, idolising false gods (how do you choose which one is false!?) etc. As you can imagine, many were killed including being burned at the stake for (as the arrest warrants asserted) causing displeasure to God (not a false one I presume). There’s no universal agreement that this is the cause of our fear of Black Friday, but it’s a good start for thinking about 9/11 in a weekend consumed by that (false?) god of Aotearoa, Rugby.

A man called Rick Perry  who is the governor of Texas would like to be the next president of our most powerful country, USA. He has expressed skepticism about evolution as scientifically valid and claimed that the two “theories”  – evolution and creationism were taught in Texas. Turns out he was wrong on the teaching part as it’s been ruled unconstitutional to teach a religion, which is what creationism is part of, in school. He has used phrases like “it’s only a theory” and “there are gaps” to somehow put down what is, frankly, beyond any doubt. As far as scientific theories go, the court will rule beyond any doubt that it’s true.

The events of 9/11 were obscene and as I’ve blogged here in the past, murder. It is inescapable that those who put this together and executed the plan used religion as some sort of twisted justification either to themselves, their families and the global population.  Included in this justification was a “belief” that there would be a reward in the metaphysical world for their actions. Communities far and wide including the Muslim world were and are repulsed by this. As intelligent beings we are entitled to a belief. But that belief must be based on credible and justifiable propositions, facts and reasoning. As a potential leader of the USA Rick Perry shows the same dark-ages belief system as those who controlled the events of 13 October 1307 and 11 September 2001. No, Rick Perry isn’t burning anyone at the stake (although his state has executed 473 of the 1266 people executed in the US since 1976), or flying plane loads of innocent passengers to a terrifying death.

My gig in leadership is authenticity. Everyone knows that. Being authentic in leadership means being real. Being yourself. It also means being real and true. Hanging on to absurd, middle-aged and demonstrably false “beliefs” when aspiring to the highest leadership in this world is dangerous role-modelling at its worst. There’s always going to be crackpots who say, deny the Holocaust, but our most powerful, would be “world’s policeman” shouldn’t be anywhere near this. Even being in the argument as he must inevitably be provokes the worst in those who are denied or have limited access to science. He has no excuse.

We know Rugby is our false god. That’s okay. We’ll be gutted if we don’t win the World Cup. But we’ll survive and no-one will (I hope!) get hurt or suffer irrational consequences for enjoying their false-god religion. In fact, come to think of it, we should encourage everyone to support a false god like Rugby. It’s a heck of a lot safer than the true one!

Go the ABs!

Stephen