The life we sustain by our choices are our own. This is nowhere truer than in a capitalist democracy where our choices drive the market and our civil society through our vote and subsequent participation in the democratic process. A functional democracy that intends to be sustainable cannot be treated as a spectator sport by the citizens. It is very much a contact sport that requires educated and fact based active participation if it is to benefit the voting citizens. At the core of that participatory democracy is an empowered citizen population that understand their own self-interest.
Each persona’s self-interest is not one-dimensional because it needs to address the interest of a person in the four functional roles, namely
If we want high pay as workers, we need to understand that we cannot have all our goods and services free or cheap. If we want high return on investment form our 401K or Pension, regardless of the morality of the organizations delivering those high returns, as citizens and consumers are we willing to accept the cost of profit making by way of pollution in our water supply or the sub-prime crisis that leads to our job loss and home foreclosure?
It is true we come into every situation for a purpose, but just like Goldilocks realized, we need to exclude the extreme choices of “Too Hot” and “Too Cold” to find what is “just right” and then pursue it while balancing our self-interest. Such is the case when shaping public policy. Stakeholders start in extreme positions and with dialogue, facts and consensus building a workable balance could be established for progress to happen.
Please join My Guest Bukola Bello of Vision Mai LLC and me to engage in this very important conversation so we get it just right. We need to harmonize our multifaceted self-interest to build a solid foundation for a sustainable democracy which is the underpinning of our empowered lives. The rules of engagement for our lives are shaped by the public policies in play. Let’s make sure we lay down these policies just right so we can build on it!