It's time to go through the nine points. Since Zia was the closest, I'll quote her. By the way, Zina, I'm glad to see us so harmonious here.
(1) The decision to go to war in Kosovo.
Zia: Least resistance - ulterior motives in operation.
JJ: Some may think that going into a difficult war for a seemingly good purpose would be high resistance, but not so in this case. Bill Clinton has such strong personality energy that when he decided that bombing was necessary, it became the line of least resistance for NATO nations to follow his lead. Whereas previous Vietnam War protesters think that a war to push back an invader in the Gulf to be a wicked thing, they tend to see a crusading war for an ideal to be a cause to bomb for, and eventually to send our best blood into battle.
Clinton strongly desires a positive legacy, and look at the presidents who have good ones: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt - all war presidents - all great presidents. For one wanting a legacy, a good quick war may be the line of least resistance. He thought the war would be over in a month, the Serbs refused to cry uncle, so the legacy thing is backfiring. Clinton is in danger of having the Lyndon Johnson Legacy added to his repertoire rather than the honest Abe Lincoln legacy.
(2) The decision of Bill Gates to create Windows 95 and 98.
Zia: Least resistance - continuing product lines, natural evolution.
JJ: "Natural evolution" is the key phrase here. Especially after Windows 3 became a big hit, the path to improve it became a path of least resistance. Natural improvements such as Windows 2000 will continue to be the least resistance. However, it may be possible that Gates may decide to take a chance and create an entirely new operating software. Unless he is forced to do such a thing, he would be following the path of high resistance. For right now it does make business sense for him to follow the least resistant path, but that could change.
(3) The decision of Steve Jobs to create the Mac.
Zia: High Resistance - against great competition.
JJ: I am biased toward owning a Mac, but that is not the reason I agree with Zina here. Steve Jobs already had a successful computer company when he got the idea for the Mac. The path of least resistance would have been to make natural improvements on what he already had. Instead, Jobs pursued a dream against the advice of many, and alarmed numerous investors.
As time progressed, many people began losing faith in Jobs, especially when his trumped up Lisa Computer failed miserably. The pressure was on to just get out a product that would sell. Jobs did more than that, and pushing against high resistance, he produced a quantum leap in computer and system technology that is only now being recognized.
(4) The decision to get up and go to work at your regular job Monday morning.
Zia: Since I love my work, it is least resistance.
JJ: If you don't have to get up and go to work Monday like some of you lucky ones, this would not apply to you. But if you have a regular job, even if you do not feel like it (like me), it is still the path of least resistance to get up and go to work. For those of us with regular jobs, much resistance and upheaval would follow sleeping until noon on Monday morning.
(5) A decision to tell your boss (who irritates you to no end) to take a flying leap.
Zia: Least resistance - reaction is weak, not creating your interests.
I didn't realize that people outside the US such as Xavier would be puzzled by this term. Synonymous terms are something like: Go jump in a lake, put it where the sun don't shine, or take a long leap off a short pier.
If the boss is obnoxious on a daily basis and you are a fairly emotional person, the pressure can build within you to eventually tell your boss off. When the boss finally gets to you it may very well be the path of least resistance to let him have it.
I will admit, there may be circumstances where it could be the path of high resistance, but this would be the exception. An altruistic motive may make this possible.
(6) A decision made by an unmarried woman in the fifties to get pregnant and raise the kid on her own.
Zia: High Resistance - no security, and not acceptable a woman on her own, often difficult to be employed because not seen as 'normal'.
JJ: Some would think the answer here would be no because in their judgment this is not a moral thing to do, but basic right and wrong does not determine the path of high resistance. Right or wrong, if the woman's motive was good and she was willing to buck the system to fulfill it, the path of high resistance is entered. This higher path will reveal to her much wisdom about her choice and she will end up with more wisdom in this area than one who chose the safe path.
(7) The decision by Rosa Parks to not sit in the back of the bus.
Zia: High Resistance - could be thrown off the bus, potential brunt of abuse
JJ: Everyone got this right. It is interesting that there were millions of opportunities for someone to do what Rosa did, but it took someone with the guts to go against the grain to finally stand up for what are right. Now, in this time, we need more Rosa Parks in other areas of life.
(8) The decision by the Republicans to go ahead with impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton.
Zia: High Resistance - standing for what was morally correct against the majority, corruption and ulterior motives in the glamour of politics.
JJ: This is the one I disagree on. Even though it may have been the right thing to do, the Republicans were following the path of least resistance because there was a lot of pressure on them to follow the direction they took. They received many letters from their voters telling them to stand up to Clinton, plus the Starr Report placed them in a corner where they had to do something or look like total wimps.
Notice that the voting was 100% party line on the Democratic side to not remove Clinton from office and only several Republicans went against their party line. It would have been the path of high resistance for either side to go against his party (as long as the person was doing it for the right reason). This especially applied to the Democrats where none made that choice, and followed the low resistant safe path.
(9) Karvorkian's decision to end the lives of the terminally ill.
Zia: High Resistance - because the ultimate required his determination to sacrifice his freedom for what he believed was right.
JJ: Someone corrected me on this (Rob I believe), saying that Kavorkian only provided the tools and situation for the people to end their own lives. His point is well taken.
Remember that we are not judging whether Kavorkian is right or wrong, but one thing is clear. He sincerely believes he is doing the right thing and providing a good service. To perform this service, he is willing to become one of the most criticized persons in the world and even give his life and liberty for the cause. No one can argue that there is tremendous resistance to his work.
Question: We have mentioned that there are times when decisions are made on the path of high resistance that may be wrong or even immoral by some standards. Nevertheless, it is a path we must all take sooner or later. How could it be that we can be making bad or wrong choices, yet still be doing the right thing from a higher point of view?
Copyright 1999 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved