Growth is always understood as upward mobility. You move to a higher position based on merit (self-worth), income, social status, etc.
When you make this move, some of the people who are already there, feel afraid.
We can understand this clearly when we look at an example of mobility for growth where actual physical movement is involved – migration.
There are two ways to look at this upward mobility:
- Build a gate, in a wall with armed gatekeepers. Check everyone, make sure they are ok to get in.
- Build bridges to make sure it is easy to get in. You’d still have guards who oversee the movement, but they’d even facilitate it along the way.
While in the physical world, there could be an actual danger to lives of people if everyone getting in is not checked, in the world of software, there is no need for walls and gates.
When you build a gate and install gatekeepers, you are looking for compliance based on centuries old systems of fear, oppression and exclusivity. You feel special and blessed inside that walled garden and are upset that the ones coming in will spoil it for you.
—The kid who won’t share their toy
If someone would want to be that gatekeeper, for the fake admiration and respect that they’d get based on either fear or flattery, I don’t know what to say to them.
Building bridges is awesome. You build many bridges over difficult terrain. You position folks throughout who help the ones moving all through the way. You enter into relationships of love, empathy and friendship, even kinship.
Your culture isn’t getting diluted, it’s getting richer and evolving. Cultures that stop evolving, disappear.
I like how the WordPress community has been tirelessly focused on building bridges and any conversations around building walls and gates get no traction. 🙂
Here’s to demolishing walls, melting the gates to make public benches and letting the armed guards disappear.
Here’s to building more bridges!
(Oh well, there is something concrete coming up on these lines. This week is full of announcements.)