We (Can’t) All Agree

There’s a yearly event that I attend with my immediate family and it used to be one of the only social functions I had as a child and I have physically met most of my friends at this event. This event has several sites run by many different people, and the particular site I usually go to has recently come under new management and last year was the first time they had put the event on.

The previous managers had held the event at a summer camp and had used the available kitchen staff to provide lunches and other meals for those who were interested, and for the most part the staff knew what they were doing. The food was fantastic, people who attended could stay at the featured events longer, and people in the area who worked at the camp got paid.

The new management decided to try to save people a few bucks and decided to have people volunteer and donate resources and food rather than hire the kitchen staff. The kitchen staff of about six to ten individuals who were used to the equipment and the rigors of feeding hundreds of individuals had been replaced by thirty or forty individuals who were not. All to save about $3 a meal. And the food was terrible. The menu left a lot to be desired, the times I actually decided to eat there the food was very bland, and my father who kinda hates chili, especially the normal kind my mother makes, said the chili she makes was better and had more flavor than the chili that was provided. That is a serious indication of how bad he thought the chili was.

Well it’s coming time for the event to take place this year and I have received an email regarding the food. They plan on doing the exact same thing as last year, a terrible plan put into action that only succeeded by an act of god and moderately forced volunteering. And the email writer had the gall to say “I think everyone will agree, last year the food was terrific!”

My immediate reaction was something along the lines of “Last year’s food and planning was steaming horse excrement, and you should come up with a new plan” but I decided not to respond because I would be wasting my time.

Now this is an example of why the phrase “I’m sure everyone will agree” or “I think everyone will agree” ignores basic human functions. People have a wide spectrum of tastes and this makes completely unanimous decisions very rare. This is one of the many reasons why I immediately distrust anything that says X group has a unanimous opinion or agreement on X thing and does not provide real physical records of the decision.

Disagreement and the push and pull of ideas and opinions create growth. That competition results in innovative ideas, practices, and methods that can eventually become a better standard than the current standard. Everyone trying to be the exact same is going against the natural turn of humanity to have personal preferences. This results in stagnation and various other outcomes like depression and resentment.

So encourage researching and testing new and different ideas and opinions. If they hold up, fantastic. If they don’t well they could eventually die off, and make room for other viable ideas, the old bad ideas may crop up again and die off but the continual longevity belongs to the good ideas.

Think about some good ideas that have stood the test of time.



The Irreverent Gentleman


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