I never was a part of any debate team. Never received any formal training in how to win an argument, most of what I know is what I have picked up along the way. But I suspect that if I grabbed a book on how to do it effectively it would provide an outline that looks something like this.
1a) Name problem/challenge
1b) Provide examples of problem/challenge and how they negatively impact people.
2) Name solution.
2a) Provide examples of how solution effectively and efficiently handles problem.
3) Conclusion- Use solution XYZ because it will solve your problems efficiently and in a cost effective manner- blah, blah, blah.
And now on to the meat of the post.
One of the sad facts in life is that organizations are peppered with politics. I don’t care what kind of organization it is, religious or secular, there will be politics.
It is just a part of being a human. It is not something that I am particularly happy or proud of, but I am a realist and I expect it.
Interpersonal politics can be distracting and divisive. In theory they should be helpful. In theory it should be a case in which you build a coalition of support to overcome a problem, such as gathering people so that you can raise a barn.
However, theory often is nothing more than that. What happens all too frequently is that people break into little groups, collections of murmuring and muttering about how a project should be handled. Instead of working on the solution they work their jaws about the solution or about insignificant minutiae.
The particular problem that I am thinking about right now has to do with how some things are handled at my shul. I am intentionally going to be nonspecific about them, but suffice it to say that I suspect that they are universal issues.
And one of the most universal of these issues is that those that contribute the most money to the shul often are given the most influence, but it is not always a good thing. The fact that you have money doesn’t mean that you have expertise in all or any areas.
The fact that you have money doesn’t mean that your voice is more important, but sometimes the sad reality is that it is heard most frequently because of the need to maintain the cash cow.
And that my friends is just a sad commentary about how things work.
But like I said, I have seen similar things in every organization I have ever been a part of. Not very impressive, is it.
On a side note, one day I may revisit this post as I think that it has the framework to make a good drash, but that is for a different time and place.