Unilateral Thinking

Whenever people talk about
Competitive or cooperative enterprises
(Like entertainment properties,
or restaurants,
or relationships,
or even
governmental endeavors)
They tend to make a mistake, that we could call
‘Unilateral thinking’ —

Which is to say,
That so long as Party A follows certain prescribed actions,
All problems will be solved,
Even though the environment is not a unilateral one,
But a multilateral one

People have their own reactions,
And recognize formulaic approaches for what they are,
Which is
Treating other people like things instead of people

You might make a nearly perfect movie, but
If four other more popular, more promoted movies come out
At the same time, no one might notice yours

You might build a better restaurant, but
Because of traffic in that location,
People go elsewhere

You might “do” everything
In a relationship that you are supposed to “do”
And it still fails

Success, no matter how you define it,
Does not come by recipe.

For even cooking isn’t really a
Unilateral exercise —
If you are feeding someone
Other than yourself

All of these things
Come down to this —
When people tell you
“Just follow these steps,
And you will get everyone around you
To do what you want,”
They are lying

People are free to disagree, and
To dislike us

And though it is painful,
It is far, far better
Than everything that has ever been done

To force people to do otherwise

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