In my years working in different organizations and seeing people react to some of the things I trained, I am often amazed at how strong the reaction is when I tell them they need to say “No”. Why is that so hard? It’s a simple word. It takes very little effort to form the word and actually say it, but it apparently takes a great deal of emotional effort to say.
I’m sure that you are thinking I am loosing my mind when my post has a title like Sustainability and the Duck, but I have a reason for sharing this with you. In my time working with people and organizations, I have had the opportunity to observe a lot of their characteristics. It is because of this experience that I write about and promote Individual Sustainability. A system that is not operating in a sustainable way cannot be predicted. It cannot be measured. Because it cannot be measured or predicted, it cannot be improved.
In the introduction to this section, I listed couples interaction as a ritual. Date Night is only one of the couples interactions that help create and support Individual Sustainability. In fact, Date Night is actually a type of ritual that is about more than just couples.
As a male, I have spent a large portion of my life avoiding shaving. Based on conversations with my wife I understand there is a comparative disaffection with some personal grooming tasks for women as well. However, I discovered something about shaving that I had not considered when I started so long ago.
Rituals have been around in human culture for thousands of years. In an article by Frazer Consulting1 the number is set at 70,000 years and that is a long time. I’m not an anthropologist (If I had chosen a science other than computer science to pursue it may have been anthropology) but it seems clear that ritual means something to us. From my observations of other people I have established my opinion about ritual. We have them and participate in them because we are human. We create them. We need them. Some people will say they don’t need ritual, and that is fine with me as I watch them fix their coffee the same way for the who knows how...