quarta-feira, junho 21, 2006

Dear Rousseau:

I am a receptionist. When people call the company I work for, they always either expect that I know everything or nothing. (And so they are always wrong.) And they are so rarely polite, and have quite obviously so rarely given any thought to what it takes to do my job, or what they would really have to say to me to enable me to help them in a swift and effective manner, that it makes me wonder: why? What makes them behave so irrationally?

—At Their Service

Dear Service:

When someone has been brought up to command others, everything conspires to rob him of justice and reason. Great pains are taken, we are told, to teach young princes the art of ruling; but it does not appear that this education does them any good. It would be better to begin by teaching them the art of obeying. The greatest kings known to history were not among those brought up to rule, for ruling is a science that is least well mastered by too much practice; it is one a man learns better in obeying than commanding. As Tacitus would have it, Nam utilissimus idem ac brevissimus bonarum malarumque rerum delectus, cogitare quid aut nolueris sub alio Principe aut volueris. [The best as well as the shortest way to find out what is good and what is bad is to consider what you would have wished to happen if someone other than yourself had been Prince.] If those higher up always imagined themselves trading places with those less “high,” the world could be a different place.

Yours truly,
Jean-Jacques Rousseau


Sem comentários: