I was speaking to Dr. Don Beck this morning, for the podcast.  Don was a student of Clare Graves and the person credited with bringing Spiral Dynamics to the world. Don has been my teacher since the early 2000’s.

In the conversation we talked about asymmetries. Cultural, knowledge, wealth, development, resources…we were speaking specifically about the Palestine/Israel situation, but truth is, asymmetries are everywhere…and used in all ‘business as usual’ models.

An asymmetry in a sales process allows seduction and manipulation. One person holds more cards than another. Matters not if the sale is corn from the field, or the ‘rights’ to dig out a nations Gold from Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.

To make your profit in business from a clear choice to keep the buyer in the dark is nasty business. Nasty…nasty…..I think your toenails might curl if you knew just how many of our celebrated businesses do exactly this.

But this is not the only place the asymmetrical relationship shows up…the ratio of muscle and  perceived ‘power’ has kept the women in an asymmetrical relationship with men for 2000 plus years.

We are increasingly experiencing the growing asymmetry between the rich and the poor. Access to networks, money, the ‘boys club’, the Ivy league schools, these all are built around asymmetries. Lucky if you have it, sucks if you don’t. (Although statistics say that more resilience is built into the system that doesn’t have it…as these people are forced to live in the field of creativity daily, just to make it.)

I am not proposing a flat world of egalitarianism. An all vanilla world would be insanely boring and very uncreative.

But if we look at our current world, the overarching issues exist because of the increasing gap in the “us and them” asymmetry, be that health care, education, access to clean water and electricity…or human rights.

To invite someone to the table to do a deal…and put all the cards on the table…to treat the other with dignity and respect…to not consciously exploit, or hold the power cards over another..this..this is the future most of us long for in our 2.23AM moments.

As I am certain the sun will rise tomorrow, every human I have ever met knows the experience of being trumped by someone who held more cards.


Photo credit: @Cristianhold via Compfight


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