Having a good "Structure" is more important than having good "People" for having a good "Society"
Author: Mohammed Nazari
When driving, we stop at a red light, even when there are no other cars crossing. One might question this rule by asking: if there are no other cars crossing why should I stop and not go through, that's why I crossed the red light. Although in this case this might sound logical, in the long run it does not work. If the law would allow us to use our personal judgment call then the second driver may argue that they did pass through the red light because the crossing traffic was far enough, giving them enough time to cross safely. Then the third driver can say although the crossing traffic was close, they passed the red light, because their car has a good acceleration and could pass through safely. Then the forth driver would get into an accident due to his poor personal judgement or a cheap slower car:)
If everyone of us starts using our own judgment, then time to time we have one who makes the wrong judgement and accidents become more frequent. Although one general rule may not be the best rule for all case scenarios Having "ONE Imperfect Rule" is better than having "different perfect rules"
Needless to say at times we do not have the full information leaving us with "making a good judgment on limited information" resulting in "mistakes to happen".
The whole idea of having STRUCTURE is to eliminate the element of "personal judgment" and "thinking".
Yes we do not need to Think about every single thing, this causes STRESS and CHAOS. Save the thinking and personal judgment for something better, where we have not developed much structure yet.
As a matter of fact the number of car accidents and subsequent deaths and injuries are fairly high in societies where people don't follow the law using their personal judgment, somewhere like Iran, where driving becomes very stressful and with a lot of road rage. Although in Iran normally the drivers are quick to respond and often make the right decision, and can park a car in a small space, BUT simply due to failing to follow the rules and instead depending on the other driver's decision making and quick response, end up into having a lot more accidents. I am sure if you ask most Iranians they claim that generally they are much better drivers than the Canadians, which I agree, however yet due to their lack of respect for the traffic rules they get into more serious accidents:) hmmmmm
Funny enough due to the same lack of respect for the law, Four way Stops in Iran are few and rather impossible to use, since everyone drives through the intersections before the other one has cleared the way. In some cases this causes interlock jam to the extent that no one can drive through unless someone agrees to back up. Often a lot of yelling, shouting and fights go on at the same time, making life really stressful.
In January 1998, six months after I came to Canada, in Iran my mother was hit by a car and killed at the age of 54. I wanted her to come and visit me in Canada. This would have been her first flying experience and first trip outside of the country. Definitely this was the most saddening experience in my life, losing my mom.
I believe I am not exaggerating if I say in Iran seeing one or more dead person/casualties in the street due to motor vehicle accidents is not unusual at all. All because people, drivers and pedestrians, don't follow the rules and use their own personal judgment. Streets are so dangerous that drivers when starting their day and pedestrians when crossing the street, reside on prayers as if they are doing something dangerous and risky.
Structure, even if not the best one, and following it works. For example the most successful franchises, such as Walmart and Tim Horton's, are primarily run by teenagers and individuals with less experience in marketing, customer service and so on. This is only because these franchises have a very detailed structure that everyone follows. I understand that at times the structure fails, however for the most part it does work. and I am sure the management keeps a close eye on their failures and short falls and fix them, making it a part of the new structure.
When I came to Canada, I was surprised to see that there are rules for almost everything, a lot more rules and details than what I was used to. At the beginning it seemed ridiculous to me and I complained about it like most other new comers. It did not take me long to realize that is why this country is great and we as Iranians wish to come here, but Canadians don't wish to immigrate to Iran:)
Frequently I have heard from the new comers, that Canada is a great country "BUT" they should do this or that like their own back home countries. Often the answer is if Canada did what they ask, then Canada would be like their back home countries and would not be so great anymore.
The best way to make a change and improve is to educate everyone and "make a change in the rule if possible and not break the rules on an individual basis", otherwise we will have more car accidents:) Although process of changing rules is slow but it will avoid chaos and disorder.
In dictatorship countries, one person makes the decision for everyone. That is why things change faster as there is no need for a referendum. However even if the main leader is the smartest person, which normally is not, for a change to happen people should execute it and a one man show does not work.
To have a successful change you need people to understand and follow it.
People do things for one of the following reasons: fear of punishment, hope for a reward, and most importantly is due to their own understanding, approval and dignity. That is why education is so important to get one's approval and support.
This is my personal principle in a lay language:
I don't kiss ass because I need it, I don't kick ass because I can, I do it because it's RIGHT.
RIGHT is following the rules, and if you do not agree with a rule, then try a logical approach to educate everyone to agree with you and change the rule and not break the rule. I know this needs a lot more clarification which I will try in another blog to explain.
Don't be a "YES-BUT" person
Often people agree with the above logic however they try to justify their own wrong doings, saying "BUT", and keep explaining why they don't follow the law and break the rules as usual.