Secret #2 is more important. Generosity. It’s much easier and more effective to come up with good ideas for someone else. Much easier to bring a posture of insight and care on behalf of someone else.*
When we lack gratitude, we move towards pessimism and even cynicism.**
When you think about the universe and where we have come from, what for you are some of the greatest achievements of humankind?
Putting people into space?
Extending and creating life?
For me it has to be generosity and forgiveness and love.
These are amazing accomplishments, achieved against all the odds and they most in danger when assumed they just happen.
Tim Harford writes about the dangers of automation for pilots, how autopilot deskills – he illustrates with the story of Air France’s Flight 447 for which the inability to fly without autopilot is one of the reasons for its crash after leaving Rio de Janeiro for Paris. 228 people died.
It dramatically highlights the dangers of depending on automation. It threatens Seth Godin’s generosity of ideas. We can be misled into thinking the system will look after people and do the right thing – until it tears families apart:
“Automation will routinely tidy up ordinary messes, but occasionally create an extraordinary mess.”^
Generosity and forgiveness are skills that reward us when we use them and atrophy when we do not use them. They involve incredible inventiveness and innovation when practised, the kind that may just save us and provide us with a better, more human future:
‘Our readiness to forgive will draw others to ourselves in that we will be known as a safe place to fail.’**