Remember that explorers and pioneers, followed by the settlers, make progress. We can be certain that we can change systems if we follow the path taken by the explorers and pioneers.
Explorers of Today
We must remember that the explorer of today, particularly in restructuring systems, must come up with numerous possible solutions to our numerous failed societal structures. The explorer of today must not only think outside the box, but design his own box, and imagine the “impossible” for how our society should operate.
Remember that the explorer of today must find a path through an uncharted wilderness of policies and paperwork. The explorers of today must take the time to delve into the depths of the very systems which the explorers want to change.
These explorers must also take time to develop contacts, both within the area they wish to change, and with other explorers and pioneers who also desire to change these systems.
The explorers must also share their radical ideas with other explorers, often gathering together to discuss their radical approaches and learn from each other, thereby fostering greater creativity and better proposed solutions among all involved.
Pioneers of Today
Remember that the pioneer of today invests his time into learning technical skills, learning the workings of systems, and making contacts. The pioneers of today investigate all possible solutions that other explorers have proposed.
Above all the pioneers of today must be open minded as they look through all proposed designs, as they sift through the benefits and limitations of each solution. The pioneer must never dismiss the proposal just because it sounds crazy (that is what the gunslingers do). Instead, the pioneers must be able to see the potential, to imagine the impossible as reality, and to think creatively on how to turn these designs into actual operation.
Settlers Have Built the Walls, Pioneers must Rebuild the Structure
We must remember that the settler has built bureaucratic walls to prohibit the explorer and pioneer, and yet, the explorer and pioneer must continue to push for change regardless.
We must remember that explorers and pioneers must work to not only make systems more humane, but also make changes in the very structure of systems so that future progress in changing these systems becomes easier.
Settlers of Today, and Practical Details for Pioneers
We must remember that most settlers are uncomfortable with change, particularly with the new approaches being proposed by the pioneers. And yet the pioneers and explorers must continue to educate the settlers on the benefits of the new approach.
We must remember that there are many settlers who would like the new system, but cannot imagine it. They cannot see it. This, the explorers and pioneers must demonstrate the new system, with visuals and descriptors, down to the smallest detail, so that the settlers in the audience can understand.
And of those settlers that can understand it, many settlers are not sure that it can really be done. Again, the pioneers and settlers must provide an outline of how we get from here to there.
The good news is that if the settlers in the audience understand and approve of the solution, the most difficult part of the objective has been accomplished. Getting the settlers to believe in the vision is the most crucial part. But until they are receptive to the solution, no settler will be receptive to any plan of how to achieve the goal.
Better Solutions are Available – If we Believe they are Possible
Thus, better solutions are available - solutions that we have not even conceived of yet. By gathering a group of people who work closely with the system, by explaining immutable factors which they could not have known otherwise, and by allowing them to brainstorm solutions, I guarantee you that solutions will be created.
As I mentioned in the preface, before we can find solutions, we must believe we can find solutions. Once we believe solutions can be made, I guarantee you that the solutions will come.
This article was originally written as part of the book “Making America Great”, published 1995 and 2003.