Advantages of Being Passive
When I read about the nuclear crisis in Japan, I was shocked for many reasons, the main one being how they designed in the safety features. I read that some safety features stopped working once the electricity was cut off. At that time I haven't heard of terms such as "active" or "passive" safety features.
The Wiki definition is :"Passive nuclear safety is a safety feature of a nuclear reactor that does not require operator actions or electronic feedback in order to shut down safely in the event of a particular type of emergency (usually overheating resulting from a loss of coolant or loss of coolant flow). Such reactors tend to rely more on the engineering of components."
Why? Why? Aren't there temples and monasteries throughout Asia and even in ancient Greece where water flows for hundreds of years without "active" human or mechanical operations? Haven't TPS (Toyota Production System) and many other waste reduction and productivity improvement movements recommended using gravity in moving around things in your factory floors or warehouses?
When planes crash or get delayed due to software glitches, I am not shocked. But civil, electrical, electronic and nuclear engineers to make such omissions?
Now my promise is about being passive, about something that will work without my effort or operation. Whatever the circumstances inside and outside, this "passive feature" will keep on working.
Here are some minor promises:
I can promise I will run into serious troubles.
I can promise I will make serious, even nearly fatal mistakes.
I can promise some "worst case" scenarios I will encounter will be hundred times worse than the "worst cases" in our scenario planning sessions.
I will be broken down(and/or up). The situation I find in can be as bad as you can imagine. (Please, let us see how rich your imagination can be in painting a pessimistic future).
Then what am I going to do?
First, I shall accept it. (There is no "will," "willpower," "intention," "effort" involved here. This is just a statement.) I shall find that situation acceptable, "livable," even enjoyable. I noticed I have this "wrong" or "bad" ability to find any situation "livable" during my decade-long research on the correlations between different types of personality and the Buddhist meditation methods. ( I am not happy about this ability but I don't mind it either. )
Second, since the situation is fine with me, then I shall find chances, opportunities, breaks to better my lot.
This is my promise. Nothing is going to keep me from trying my 110000005th time. After every future failure, I shall find that future situation "livable" and then "improvable."
This is my promise. I am happy in every scenario, including the current one, which is bad to others but very "livable" to me. Livable means I am living. Not running, hiding, defending. "Living" means I am exploring, probing, finding, moving, producing, making, creating, loving, growing, raising, helping, sharing, training ... etc. The way out is no where but up, far up. A moral compass is one of my "passive" features too.
My promise is that I will be me, that I will behave like me. Happy but moving out and up all the time.
Only a software guy can remain blind to such passive features, such "bugs" in himself for so long.
on April 9, 2011