I had an avalanche of thoughts triggered after reading a recent rant of yet another person hating on Groupon and it’s business model.
I started wondering why it was that human nature is such that it attacks people, concepts, ideas, religions, races or anything else that is different than the rest. I came to the conclusion that many people fall into this trap: You Don’t Understand It, So You Attack It.
It is close to a couple of major celebrations in Israel, the land which I was born and where I live now after 26 years of bouncing around between USA, France and England: Passover, or Pesach as it is pronounced in Hebrew, and Easter.
My ancestors and education, which are steeped in Judaism, have me excited to celebrate a tradition with my children in teaching them about how after 400 years under Egyptian slavery the Israelites escaped Egypt with the help of God.
My wife, who has an education and family history with a Catholic heritage, is excited to celebrate Easter and teach our children about the moral and religious significance of that holiday.
Both holidays share roots in Israel, a holy land, and both share the celebration of spring which in itself is not a religious celebration but a celebration of new beginnings.
Throughout my lifetime, as a Jewish man, and through thousands of years my ancestors and I were discriminated against because of our religious identity. One of the common threads was human beings inability to tolerate something that they can’t understand. The human mind is brilliant, the emotions that humans are capable of are amazing but when it comes to comfort, acceptance and tolerance human beings can be quite primitive. The inability to accept a belief system or religion is different than yours, often times results in a person attacking what they don’t understand.
The history of Christianity, evolving from a sect to religion, had its own period of time being under attack because the Roman Empire could not understand why some people don’t pray to idols and others pray to a higher power. Christians and Jews were slaughtered by the Roman Empire, including in sports complexes throughout the Roman Empire including the Coliseum in Rome.
As I evolved my professional career, working at NASA Ames Research Center as a 19 year-old, moving to England as a 29 year-old and moving back to Israel as a 34 year-old, I have seen a massive lack of understanding by people for disruptive technologies, disruptive businesses and disruptive individuals. In this case, I use the word disruptive as a positive word because of the massive amount of changes brought to the world because of new technologies, new business models and new ways of employees.
When I read blogs, articles, tweets and rants over Groupon I think about the person’s inability to understand a new type of business model, with a new type of technology and a new type of employees. Just as many have ignorantly prosecuted and attacked human beings, because of their differences to others, many attack Groupon with a theme of this blog post: You Don’t Understand It, So You Attack It.
It takes an incredible amount of wisdom to try and find understanding, rather than simply reverting to basic human nature of attacking things you don’t understand.
For those celebrating the coming of spring, the holiday of Passover or Easter or those that are simply celebrating new beginnings, I wish you a wonderful chapter in life and ask that you put more weight into considering new ideas rather than attacking them.
Peace! If you want to engage in dialogue on this topic, please comment on my blog or reach out to me on Twitter: @goldmanmichael