Tinder Swindler is a Netflix series that is based on actual events. Women find this guy on Tinder who charms them, takes them on private jets and later, at some point, asks them for money. And afterwards, they also get threats from him if they expose him.
Inventing Anna is another such series on Netflix that talks about how a socialite scams the uber-rich in New York. She builds on the story of being a trust fund child and, after gaining trust, goes on to scam them.
In the corporate world, you have a saying that says – systems are made to be gamed. A true corporate world goer will admit to gaming the system to achieve the desired result. Real work happens outside of the system. And if you are really smart, you will know when to use the system and when not to. In countries like India – this is the mindset you are born with. It is genetic – rules are made to go around them. If you follow the rules, you are not smart enough.
Now, Lao Tzu – a famous Chinese philosopher, says in his tiny book of wisdom, ‘Tao Te Ching’.
The more rules and regulations,
The more thieves and robbers.
Let’s think about this a bit more. Why do we have rules? Because if there are no rules, people will not know how to behave. Why do people have to behave? So that we can be a civilized society. Is that true? Is following the rules keeping us from devolving into a pack of wild animals? If the answer to this is a resounding yes, I would question whether we genuinely evolved.
The basic assumption is we do not know how to behave. We do not know right from wrong and hence have to be taught. We have to be told what to do and then monitored to ensure we do what we are told to do. At work, for example, we are told to do X thing, and then there is reporting to make sure we do X. Why not tell the people the ultimate goal and let them decide whether they should do X or Y. We are decades past the manufacturing model where everybody could fit into one mould.
The age of uniformity has gone – the age of diversity has arrived. And that means each of us to think for ourselves and decide what is right or wrong. We have to build the muscle which we intentionally subdued over a long time so a few of us could have more power. Religion, Governments are some examples whose sole job is to tell us how to live our lives. Without them, we were perfectly capable of living our true life. It is very similar to the saying – ‘We were born intelligent. Education ruined me.’
If there were no rules – we would be forced to discover for ourselves, and lessons that we learn from our experience do not ever have to be reinforced. Don’t we want to live in a world where each of us can find out of ourselves what is right or wrong based on our own experience? One can wonder if there were no rules in the first place, would there be a climate change issue? If we were taught to think for ourselves would we be a better version of ourselves?
Do you do as you are told, or do you learn from your own experience?