When the quest for ‘perfect’ stamps on ‘good’

Rahul Thomas (from India) recently wrote the following about Westerners and Easterners:

“I understand that a lot of Europeans in particular have a problem with the accounting structure (or lack thereof). I think this has a lot to do with the kind of society in which you have been brought up where propriety is an end in itself and where you truly believe in peoples’ rights, however insignificant, as a matter of principle. Not that the rest of us don’t, but I think we’re a little less militant about it. I think its great to have you guys constantly pushing for greater honesty and transparency and that you tend to be the conscience and voice of the silent masses.”

“But (and this is only a suggestion), perhaps a slightly
less strident and threatening, more measured, tone
might actually help you to achieve some of your ends.”

“I mean, take this for example:”

“A man walks into a town square, climbs onto a little bench and begins to declaim the problems of society and corruption in the ranks. Invariably, a crowd gathers to watch him. Some are merely curious while the rest are interested. The man begins in a nice enough fashion and then ups the tempo. He begins to shout and howl and rant. After a while, most people move on with their stuff and only a few remain. After a while longer there are only a couple of people left. When he’s done he potters off. The next day he lands up and does the same. He again attracts a crowd as he yowls pretty much the same thing. After a week, his crowd has thinned considerably. In a month, the only people there are those who agreed with him to begin with. The rest have tuned him out. He is now background noise. The kook. The weirdo. The mad conspiracy theorist who people giggle at every now and then.”

“Please, please, please try not to become that man.”

“It’d be a loss to the rest of us as well.”

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