Leadership & Anomie - Preventing Individual Disconnect!

by Administrator 30.Jul.2013 16:08:00

Increasingly today we read of people whose societal alienation or Anomie leads them to do dreadful things. So much so, that average folk seem to have lost patience with looking at the whys and wherefores, and clamor for retribution/justice with the bloodthirsty fervour of a lynch mob. Oftentimes the loud demand for legislative solutions draws the noose tighter around the consciousness of afflicted individuals. 

Societal templates are reassuring for most. However for those who see the bigger picture and who are sensitive to what others miss, rigidity can be quite catastrophic. I have heard the feeling described as akin to “driving a Porsche on go-kart track”!

Harding Leadership Programs strive to awaken those in leadership, teaching and parental roles to accommodate these special people before they feel disconnected from the society’s norms. Of course time and effort, not to speak of the empathy/awareness, are required to recognize stifled originality. We talk blithely in organizational/corporate circles of playing to individual/team strengths, but sadly I guess we all to easily fall back on the set job-description, curriculum or family norm as a safe/comfortable guideline. 

Those of us who care should perhaps ask if on some level our recognition, acknowledgement and accommodation of people who think outside of mainstream norms would perhaps not have obviated negativity, diverse addiction, wasted lives, suicide, criminal activity or even acts of terrorism.

Would it not be be opportune to remember that individual isolation creates fertile ground for the seeds of frustration, then anger, then despair and ultimately irrational action to take root? Have not thinkers, scientists, explorers, artists throughout the ages tasted this bitter progression when ignored by mainstream activity? 

Albeit out of fashion, surely whacking the cause... not the symptom, is still a valid approach?


To facilitate an understanding of the root cause of Anomie, I paraphrase the words of Elliot Perlman in his enthralling novel ‘Seven types of Ambiguity':

“.. People with a highly developed sense of morality, of empathy, coupled with a rigorous rationality, continually at war with {the perceived} disorder {of the mainstream} that leads to chronic feelings of emptiness, fears of abandonment, and fleetingly, by intense periods of anger, all of which make for great feelings of shame…… The cost of so much time spent seeing things too clearly. It is a cost most people know instinctively is too high…! ”

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