Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Doing Something

[Photo by Jared Rice at Unsplash]

The defense of "At least he (or she) did something" is often heard. It is a last ditch defense usually employed after multiple failures to establish that the actions taken were effective or even wise.

Doing something, the reasoning goes, is assumed to be superior to doing nothing. Unfortunately, the positives of doing nothing and the negatives of doing a half-baked job are seldom explored. "Doing something" is a very low bar and the fact that something was done does not mean that it did not make matters worse.

Action can be seen as a sign of caring while inaction can signal indifference. Certainly, such can be the case, but is it logical to assume that it is always so? Action, especially the weak sort, can simply be a sly effort to craft a defense against allegations of uncaring. Refraining from action may be a form of wisdom and not a sign of indifference, ill-intent or cowardice.

An alarm bell should sound at the grand declaration that at least something was done.

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