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The Ignorance of Bliss

The Ignorance of Bliss

Episode 271 | December 22, 2022

The Ignorance of Bliss

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Alan Weiss PhD

Meet Your Host, Alan Weiss

Alan Weiss is one of those rare people who can say he is a consultant, speaker, and author and mean it.

His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients such as Merck, Hewlett-Packard, GE, Mercedes-Benz, State Street Corporation, Times Mirror Group, The Federal Reserve, The New York Times Corporation, Toyota, and over 500 other leading organizations. He has served on several boards of directors in various capacities.

His prolific publishing includes over 500 articles and 60 books, including his best-seller, Million Dollar Consulting (from McGraw-Hill) now in its 30th year and sixth edition. His newest is Your Legacy is Now: Life is not about a search for meaning but the creation of meaning (Routledge, 2021). His books have been on the curricula at Villanova, Temple University, and the Wharton School of Business, and have been translated into 15 languages.

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Show Notes

Do you treat others as you would like to be treated? That’s not merely a Biblical injunction, it’s an ethical position.

Yet we tend to treat others harshly, sometimes cruelly, and even evilly. I believe in pure evil. I’ve seen too much of it not to believe in it.

Solipsism in the belief that only ourself is “real,” and that anything beyond our own mind is problematic and uncertain. We see this in self-absorption every day, from the people who talk during a performance, to those who take phone calls during meetings. I remember a guy with a hoodie, staring at his phone, bopping to some music, crossing against the light, daring people to hit him.

I wouldn’t want to be selling him life insurance. The fates don’t care about your degree of self-absorption. (I would never deliberately harm someone like that, but I did want to dump hot water over a repulsive couple who walked into a breakfast diner carrying Starbucks coffee.)

The bigotry we face—ableism, ageism, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, gender discrimination, and on and on—are to me attempts to keep others metaphorically “below” us on some social ladder because we have such poor self-esteem that we fear being on the bottom unless we subjugate some other group.

So we march through life too largely uncaring, using platitudes like “pay it forward” to replace actual generosity and tolerance. You want to help a charity? Pouring ice cubes or cold water over your head is cute, but it’s a poor substitute for putting money in the coffers.

Also, you will learn some truth herein about ostriches.

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Alan Weiss’s The Uncomfortable Truth® is a weekly broadcast from “The Rock Star of Consulting,” Alan Weiss, who holds forth with his best (and often most contrarian) ideas about society, culture, business, and personal growth. His 60+ books in 12 languages, and his travels to, and work in, 50 countries contribute to a fascinating and often belief-challenging 20 minutes that might just change your next 20 years.

Introduction to the show recorded by Connie Dieken