Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Flat Earth Society: Model Citizens?

We don't have time for a meeting of The Flat Earth Society.  - Barrack Obama

Even for those of you who follow national and world news closely, you could've almost missed it, as The Flat Earth Society earned mention a couple of weeks ago while member Mike Hughes attempted (again) launch of his own, privately constructed steam missile to place himself into almost near orbit and verify the earth is, after all, just a flat disk hurtling through space - and not the spherical globe shaped mass we've all been led to believe.

Nutty, you say?  But wait a minute, don't you remember just a few years ago, up until around the 17th century, when this belief was still held by many, and some nut then came up with the idea that the earth was actually round?  What type of reception do you think they had for challenging the status quo?

President Obama, a few years ago at Georgetown University, in the smart-ass way that he had become adept with during any given moment (his delivery being much more subtle and refined than Trump's, yet, still, despite that I voted for and agreed with him most of the time, a real, talented smart-ass) claimed, "We don't have time for a meeting of The Flat Earth Society," thus making two underlying and not so gentle insinuations in that one succinct launch:  1) The Flat Earth Society is a group of people suffering from psychotic delusions about what the truth is, and 2) anyone challenging his position on climate change must be a member of said group and/or suffering in a similar fashion.

The Flat Earth Society has been though several incarnations over the past 140 years or so, and today's group has a rather well put together website with articles which seem, to me anyway, fairly sane in their temperament and cadence; and despite that I may not agree with their conclusions, I do appreciate their calm, even-tempered approach and refreshing tone of invitation to have another look at preconceived notions.

And here's something I like even more about The Flat Earth Society:  They exist.  

I think there's good value in being exposed to divergent opinions, whether from scientific, political, religious, societal, social, family, or business circles.  I think that despite whatever evidence is apparent for any given topic, having someone to invite us to pause for just a moment and think about something different is a good exercise; if nothing else to help us reconfirm what we already know (or mostly believe) to be true - and whether that item be true for everyone - or simply true for us personally.

I think there's a lot of things done in domestic workplaces that are done because no one's had the courage to stand up and say, hey team, wait a minute here!... maybe something else is true... and if it isn't true, then we can always go back to doing the same old things and thinking those same old thoughts we've had for all these years... but maybe, just maybe, thinking outside the round sphere for a second or two could help us come up with a different way of looking at things and a different way of... um.... meeting the principals' needs and providing good service?  

Maybe the earth is flat, or maybe it's not.  Maybe your guests really do want to be deluged with champagne, porterhouse steaks, organic olives shipped in from Crete on a yacht, and then escorted to the loo to enjoy some special moments on a Toto Washlet S350

Or, maybe they just want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a glass of water, and to be left alone for five minutes by the service staff and all that supposed luxury.


Maybe the earth isn't as round as we thought it was.

And maybe Obama was wrong... maybe there is time for a meeting of The Flat Earth Society.

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