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Belarus: an indictment of power

August 14, 2020

So many recent events have made us aware of the use and abuse of power. Many times, this is so embedded that we accept it as normal. In so doing, we perpetuate inequality and stifle opportunity.

The situation in Belarus is just the latest example of an autocratic ruler defying his people. The stories and pictures are horrific and must be condemned. If we ignore what is happening, or perhaps dismiss it as inevitable in former Soviet states, we are in fact condoning the use of force in repressing legitimate human aspiration.

As the free world increasingly reflects on its past and future, I think we are starting to see how power creates a destructive dynamic. It underpins abuse, it justifies discrimination, it generates conflict. People are about more than this, they are better than this. Through a commitment to collaborate, we build empathy and understanding. We build trust and collectively stand up to the growth and misuse of power.

In business as in society, we need a new and better way – an approach that creates sustainable  relationships, that operates to values that result in a fair distribution of economic and social value. Power conflict has dominated human history, but that does not mean it has to dominate our future. Many of those in the world of commerce are turning away from the theories and practices of power-based negotiation and management and recognizing we must work together to build and conserve our world and human society.

As individuals, we can make a difference by calling out those who, like Lukashenko, show no respect for fundamental human values. It is time for change. It is time for us to build that better world.

 

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