Playing BIG Involves Exercising Wo/man’s Original Virtue

It occurs to me that showing up and operating from a context of possibility requires you/i to exercise our original virtue.

I remember that when I chose not to have an arranged marriage, and did not permit my parents to force my younger sister into such a marriage, I exercised this virtue. I remember that when I made friends with folks from other faiths (than Islam) I exercised this virtue. I remember that when I told the CEO (in the presence of the European management team) that I was not willing to “lie-cheat-steal” I exercised this virtue.

What is this virtue?  Let’s listen to long dead Chinese poet:

Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is though disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.”

– Qu Yhan

Please note that there are many ways of exercising this original virtue. One can do so quietly or loudly. One can do violently or non-violently. One can do so impetuously or in a calm-considered-committed manner.  Irrespective, to travel the road less travelled almost always requires disobedience. I am clear that playing BIG involves travelling the road not yet travelled. And that always requires disobedience: to the prevailing assumptions, beliefs, conventions, ideas, practices….

Author: Maz Iqbal

Experienced management consultant working at the intersection of strategy, customer, and technology. Combine a tendency to think strategically with a penchant for getting my hands dirty at the coalface of implementation.

2 thoughts on “Playing BIG Involves Exercising Wo/man’s Original Virtue”

  1. Interesting. A question I’ve been asking myself is “is breaking the law akin to lacking integrity? While some laws are despicable, others are social pacts/agreements that we all are bound to and that benefit society as a whole. If we agree to this, where does “disobedience/virtue” start and “honouring your word/integrity” end? For instance, when is it “exercising a virtue” to break a law? How/when can we make that call?

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    1. Hello Mathieu,
      Thanks for reaching out and creating an opportunity for a conversation. Let’s begin by taking a look at integrity. I say integrity and integrating are pointing at the same phenomena. Which means that when I speak integrity a I am referring to the state go being whole-complete-unified-aligned-attuned. What I am not speaking about is anything related to morality: good, bad, right, wrong. Lets me make that clear. If I invent the possibility of making a EUR10m by swindling say the elderly, then go about arranging-living my life to bring this about, and I say make $6m then I am in a state of integrity.

      If you get that this is what I mean by ‘integrity’ then there is no clash between being in a state of integrity and breaking the laws of your tribe, your religion, or the laws of the land. Take the American colonies and their refusal to pay taxes to the British king (their sovereign). By refusing to pay taxes they Colonists were breaking the law of the land. Take a look at the Declaration of Independence and you can see the same. The law of the land was broken, a new possibility was created-declared, militias were formed, battles took place, and eventually the Colonists became independent. Same thing when it come to women’s rights in Europe.

      So from where I stand I do not see any clash-conflict between being in a state of integrity and disobedience to laws. Now if by integrity you are talking about morality then you are in bind. Look deeply and you will see that morality is an invention by the powerful to enslave the less powerful to an existing way of living. The whole purpose of morality is to encourage-ensure obedience and discourage disobedience.

      At your service | with my love
      maz

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