Why?

This was the only feedback I received on my Facebook post one week ago. And it’s quite interesting, not specifically in and of itself, but because of the context.

People hardly ever ask why when they’re assigned a task by a superior. This is understandable, because we’ve been learning to comply since Day One in school. But does it make sense? My point is not to refuse any order as a matter of principle, but every time you are not clear about or do not agree with the steps and results of it. It might help to have an alternative handy, though. Things need to get done, but we decide the way the they get done to what end.

On the other hand, people are very quick to ask for a reason when they see no direct benefit for themselves. So when you ask someone to do good, this unfolds a philosphical debate on altruism rather than getting something done. Contributing and sharing useful information is still considered as deliberately losing your competetive edge. People have not yet learned to recognise and appreciate added value, especially when it needs to pile up to stand out. The (only) sensible qustion to ask when someone asks you to contribute is ‘Why not?’.

Opportunism does not prevail in the long run. What’s at stake here is not short-term advantages and the quick buck, but relevant traits such as generosity, sociability, commitment, responsibility, vision and leadership.

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