The seduction of compliance

We can tell from the words. “I’m just doing my job.” “Will this be on the test?” “Don’t blame me.” “It’s what everyone else is wearing.”

Keep your head down, do what you’re told, don’t stick your neck out, and most of all, pay attention to what everyone else is doing.

All of this comes from somewhere. From individuals and organizations that benefit from our compliance.

The alternative isn’t freedom. It’s responsibility.

The responsibility to show up, to care a bit more, to raise your hand and to make a difference.

Compliance is seductive because it comes with short-term prizes. If you fit in all the way, it might feel a bit less frightening. The center of the herd may in fact be safer, but the view is terrible.

We don’t spend nearly enough time celebrating responsibility. Our niche in the hierarchy is actually irrelevant, particularly for those you helped today. What matters is our willingness to see what’s happening and to sign up to do something about it.

It begins with figuring out just who is pushing so hard for you to comply.