Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Tolerance and openness under stress – some thoughts on 9-11

Posted in Uncategorized by Timothy Platt on September 11, 2010

Platt Perspective is a business and technology oriented blog and I focus on that in my postings. But much of what I write of involves social networking and community, and best practices for connecting to create and share mutual value.

I wasn’t initially planning on posting about 9-11 and the anniversary of the terrorist attack of 2001 that brought the United States and many others into war on several fronts. My intention in this blog has never been to post political views. But at the risk of violating that goal I find myself writing of 9-11 here, and of the need for tolerance and openness as a counterpart to the closed minded violence we see in the news.

Too many of us are too quick to demonize those who differ from us, and so often for violating standards that we do not live up to either. We see differences as Other, and demonize Other, and in so doing undercut any moral standing we might claim for ourselves. And we reach out to do violence in the name of our religion or our creed or our politics and even when that action violates the basic tenants that we would claim to support. We become our own worst enemies and all we would strike out at become as if reflection of ourselves.

Before we look for flaws and error in others, perhaps we should look to our own beliefs, and most especially to how we show our true beliefs and opinions in the actions we take and the enacted priorities we live by. And we need to set aside the easy, fascicle stereotypes and look to individuals for who they are and what they do – and not simply to membership in larger groups.

I am an American and write this note thinking of some of the anti-Muslim sentiments that have come up in the news lately, highlighting the words and actions of bigots and the religiously intolerant. Too much like that is done on all sides and it gets too much publicity, drowning out efforts of good faith to bridge the gaps that divide us.

This is important for business and the marketplace but more than that it is vitally important for us as individuals and for our families, and for the communities we live in.

So if we would repudiate the terrorist impulse that made 9-11-2001 so painful for so many, it should be in denying the impulse to repudiate Other, and to reach out to accept our differences and our diversity. And that is my wish for this 9-11 and for all to come.

Tim Platt
September 11, 2010

One Response

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  1. Michael said, on September 12, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Tim –

    Thank you for this post. I read your posts religiously for the business value they contain, but I have a new found level of respect for you with this post. I have been “arguing” the same points you make here with so many others, and have long felt I am alone in believing that our actions, criticisms, and threats as a society essentially lower us to the very behavior we are trying to overcome. This nation was built by immigrants on the foundations of freedom, including religious freedom, and an undivided nation. As I look at us some 200+ years later, I am not sure what we have become.

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