The Volcano

The Volcano

A quick parable.

You live on the side of a volcano, the lands are fertile and it provides greatly because of this. Having your family live there for many generations you know of the stories and how the mountain below you typically behaves. Every rumble and shake you are intimately aware of.

One day you wake up to a sudden rumble and a shudder, the likes of which you have never experienced before but the stories of the past let you know what it means. The volcano is about to wake up and put on a show. The problem is that there is a big village just down the mountain that would be directly in the path ­of the ash, the poisonous cloud and eventually the lava.

So you take it on to do the right thing, run down to the village and warn everyone of what is to come. "Get out of the village tonight or you will perish!", "I can lead the way".

This is when you will come across three different kinds of people.

The 'nay sayers'. The people that will say "this cannot happen, we are safe look at everything around you it is fine!" "And even if there are issues then others will make sure nothing major happens". These are the people that will go back to their dinner or grab a drink and go back to their lives completely ignoring the potential threat. Worse than that they are the ones that could try to convince others that the threat is benign. When the mountain blows, they will only be convinced when they are chocking on the ask cloud or being burned by the lava lapping at their feet.

The 'dear in head light' people. Those that can understand what is happening but become paralysed with fear as they cannot figure out a rational way to solve the issue. These people can be saved but it will take a lot of convincing and putting things in order. They will be disorganised at first but they have potential to save themselves and others.

The third kind, the 'under standers'. They are the ones that will hear the message, understand the issues and will be eager to help. "Show us what to do and we will make it happen", these are your allies and they can help the second group those that are paralysed with fear.

The first group would near impossible to save, they are stubborn and will refuse to change their ways, this is similar to the personal-standard model I proposed in the April 2018 writings. The second group there is hope as while they are paralyzed they are at least accepting of the situation and are willing to have their hands held to be guided to safety.

There are two lessons from this scenario. Firstly is that if there are issues they you are aware of then you will need to prioritise who you end up trying to save. Recruit those that can help and try to save those that are willing to be saved even if they are confused, the first group can be saved but they will be the hardest and it may be worth more effect than you have. Secondly, Ignorance is bliss but the results are disastrous.

These ideas can be applied to any manner of situations, from accidents to social movements. As much as we want to save everyone, it might not always be possible.

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