I casually watched a senior member of the opposition party work the crowd. We were attending a veteran’s event in a small suburb in Wellington New Zealand. She was simply one of the people. She had lived in the neighborhood for years. People knew her and felt comfortable coming up to her.
After she left, we began to talk about local politics. It was interesting to understand the role of the opposition party. They have the same access to the information, reports, and personnel that the party in power does. The goal is to get the best ideas on the table for debate. Winning is just marginally less important that the principle of hearing the best ideas based on an equal playing field of information.
I wonder if businesses and governments want what is best. Most prefer to stay in power. Being in control is better than struggling with the best ideas. It may not be ideal, however, it is understandable.
I admire those that take a different route. When Paul challenged a king, he started by explaining his approach. “You must realize that this wasn’t done behind the scenes. You believe the prophets, don’t you, King Agrippa? Don’t answer that—I know you believe.” (Acts 26.27)
Open ideas, freely shared, are powerful game changers. Instead of competing against an individual with quirks and weaknesses, one is trying to defeat a concept. The only way to really win is to have a better idea. You can try to confuse or hide the idea. History suggests that good ideas have a life of their own. It is difficult to hold them back forever.
Today dawns, my mind is full of ideas. There are so many opportunities to make a difference. As I think of the opposition party, I find myself wanting to put pen to paper. Let the ideas do the talking. Let the stories make the case. Let others have a chance to refine the details. Getting some light on them is the way forward. If someone has something better, I can embrace it as my own.