Sometimes knowing which way the wind is blowing is half the battle... Michael Sylvester

disoriented.jpgA couple of news items caught my attention this week.  Not so much for the underlying stories themselves, but more because of what they seemed to say about the world views of the socieites in which these events were unfolding.

Meaning, how much attention were the courts or legislators paying attention to the larger outside world, what did they think they could get away with and how far and how fast was it smart to change their society -- and in what direction?

One story was about The Church of Kopimism that was recognized in Sweden this week.  The other was about the gas price doubling in Nigeria overnight.

In the case of Nigeria, they recognized that remaning an oil producing country with zero refinery capacity, due to security reasons, was unworkable in the long term.  Ok, they recognized a need to change and tried something that they thought would work.  Given the riots, it does not seem to be working very well, but often a bad decision is better than no decision at all.

And in Sweden, the original host country of Wikileaks and internet service provider PRQ, a young man applied under Swedish freedom of religion law arguing for the recognition that information is holy.  It belongs to us all and thus has to be allowed to be copied as part of religious freedom there.  It seems like a stretch to me, but hey it is their country.

And the thing that caught my attention about these two bits of news in all of the hundreds we all hear every week is this: one decision seems to recognize which way the wind is blowing and the other does not.  It does not really matter if your favor Swedish liberalism, Wikileaks, gas subsidies or anything else for that matter.  There are lots of changes happening out there anyway.

The point is this, when making any sweeping social legislative change, business decision or even a decision about where to send your kids to college, knowing the larger social context in which your decisions are made seems to be more important than ever before.  So, sometimes knowing which way the wind is blowing can be half the battle.  

If you don't believe me, try spending your next free Saturday afternoon raking leaves into the wind...