edwin h. friedman
The emphasis in our civilization on data, on method, on technique, and on social science catagories misdirects leaders in two ways. First it directs them away from the reality of underlying emotional processes. Second, as long as emotional process is ignored, so is the sense of self, which will then undercut a leader's confidence in the uniqueness of his or her own personal being. All of this when what our civilization needs most is leaders with a bold sense of adventure. As I noted earlier, our nation's obsession with safety ignores the fact that every American alive today benefits from centuries of risk-taking by previous generations. While not all Americans share equally in that heritage, to the extent that anyone does, it is because every modern benefit from health to enjoyment to production has come about because Americans in previous generations put adventure before safety. We run the risk of becoming a nation of 'skimmers' who constantly take from the top without adding significantly to its essence.