Getting Back to Center

Last week I wrote a piece on the value of the Center, you can read it here. This week I’d like to expand on that missive with a strategy on how to bring systems back to Center. So much ink is often spilled on the negative attributes of moving toward extremes. You can read my writings on The 20th Century’s War here to see the negative consequences of the extremes. I’ve found little thought, though, on how to bring systems back to Center. Here are my thoughts on the subject.

Whether it is a political system, an engine, or any other entity which requires the movement of many parts to work effectively, extremes lead to failure. Working within central parameters is where the most effective overall activity takes place. Yet, often we want a little extra out of the system, we push a little more gas to the engine, we hype up the messaging against a political opponent to score an electoral victory, or we juice the system in some way to gain some short-term advantage. In the long-term, though, this method destroys the system, requiring replacement. When it comes to drag racing cars that’s an expensive proposition. When it comes to the political dynamics within a country, or the relationship between countries, it’s often paid for in lives, property, and future prosperity, all on the human level.

Therefore, how do we take a system which is moving toward the extremes, juiced with short-term explosives, and bring it back to the Center? The Center is not nearly as appealing as the explosive statements about an opposing tribe. The Center is often run by bureaucrats, not exciting television personalities constantly throwing entertainment and distraction our way. The Center is where you want nothing big to happen, rather than the place where every day a dramatic new event could shift the political or geopolitical winds in a massive new way. The Center is where prosperity resides, where the future of our children offers a path to fruition, where we as people need to strive to be.

To move away from the extremes, we need to use the same tools the extremes use to appeal to us. We need to draw attention to the amygdala within the brain. We need to address base emotions. We need to appeal to not only the thinking brain of the cerebral cortex, but the lizard brain as well. How can the Center do that? It’s not exciting!

Yes, it is!

What is more exciting to you? Some new twist and turn of a government shutdown, or making sure your child is not killed in a second Civil War?

What is more exciting to you? Trumped up rhetoric about caravans of refugees fleeing persecution and violence in their homes, or having that persecution and violence infecting your home?

What is more important to you? Fear mongering about someone maybe someday making it hard for you to buy a gun, or knowing your child is safe at school from some person who found easy access to an arsenal of firearms?

When looked at in this way, we can see the Center is where the excitement is. The Center is where the future offers a path forward. The Center is the way.

When political parties, or politicians themselves, get on their soap boxes about whatever they believe will excite their supporters, they should be moving those supporters toward the Center. Whenever you listen to a politician speak, you should be moving that person toward the Center. Whenever the media reports on a politician’s diatribe, it should be reported to the Center.

Otherwise, just as the drag racer engine needs to be replaced after a short time throwing nitro into it, the political system will require replacement, which historically has never been a peaceful or painless process. The Center is where humanity is most human, and thus should be where we insist our political and social systems reside.

Let’s all excite others about the power of the Center. It’s the only place in which we may find safety, security, prosperity, and a future for ourselves, our children, our communities, our nation, and our world.