Jens Oliver Meiert

On Guidance

Post from April 16, 2015 (↻ August 23, 2017), filed under .

Many a time have I cussed during my journey and accompanying studies. I have cussed about how little I really knew about life, whether practically or philosophically. Which in my view boiled down to the poor guidance I received when I grew up—essentially, it was just about how to drink and eat, walk, get good grades, and please people. (Yet this is no blame nor resentment.)

Few of us seem to get good guidance. We get taught what’s important on our parents’ and teachers’ minds and our institutions’ agendas. If that’s biased, superficial, unimportant, or plain wrong, then that’s what we get filled with.

We get similarly poor leadership. Political leadership is a disgrace. Economic leadership is an immense Scheiße show infested with cancerous conflicts of interest. And even for inner-business leadership, we may need to exert a lot of goodwill, and still expend only two or three fingers, to count benevolent, trustworthy, wise leaders. People with character and integrity.

Get a Nobel Prize for nothing—not bad.

Figure: Leading by example. (Yet this post has nothing to do with Mr. Obama. It’s not about marketing.)

We’re all learning and growing you rush to add. Nobody is perfect. Give people the benefit of the doubt. I agree. But that still doesn’t make up for the astonishingly and inexcusably poor guidance we receive, and the few leaders there are that do and deserve to lead.

I have some ideas about what we can do to change this, but nothing coherent as to present a good catalog immediately. All I know is that we urgently need better guidance, need to give better guidance, and get out of the way if we ourselves, when in position of authority and leadership, can’t give good guidance. That requires a good amount of humility, sobriety, and courage. Perhaps good guidance starts with that.

Everett Dean Martin wrote in his 1920 work The Behavior of Crowds: “I fear the student of social psychology will find little to reassure him in the pitiable lack of intellectual leadership, the tendency to muddle through, the unteachableness and general want of statesmanlike vision displayed by our present [ruling parties].” And this he stated in the context of impending revolutions.

About the Author

Jens Oliver Meiert, photo of July 27, 2015.

Jens Oliver Meiert is an author and developer (O’Reilly, W3C, ex-Google). He plays with philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on he shares and generalizes and exaggerates some of his thoughts and experiences.

There’s more Jens in the archives and at Goodreads. If you have any questions or concerns (or recommendations) about what he writes, leave a comment or a message.

Comments (Closed)

  1. On April 19, 2015, 7:43 CEST, Daman Bahner said:

    I look forward to hearing you expound on this idea further. A great beginning, and though provoking.

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“The end does not justify the means.”