August 12, 2014

Cultivating serendipity

I spent about five hours on the road today with a friend of mine. Our conversation ranged from the elevated and philosophical to the somewhat canine, us being guys and all. But a phrase my friend shared, which I may or may not capture exactly here, sums up what I think to be the most effective way of working for social justice:

The intentional cultivation of serendipity.
Serendipity means something like a pleasant surprise. Basically, it means that good things we cannot anticipate perfectly now are likely to emerge and we should help those along.

Conversely, bad things we can't anticipate now are likely to emerge that we have to fight.

As Hamlet said, "The readiness is all."

And that, Gentle Reader, is worth more than all the energy squandered in so-called "strategic plans."

The best plan in a radically uncertain world is to have a strategy, preferably a robust one that gives you options for best-, worst-, and medium- case scenarios. Anything else is garbage.

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