I’m noticing I have started to have a visceral reaction to reading phrases like “in order to address the problem, we must do …” or “the [govenment|business leaders|the public] must [change|fix|…]”.

The group or person to whom this imperative is addressed hasn’t done anything like what they’re being instructed to do thus far for a variety of reasons (even if, perhaps especially if, the group being addressed is “us”). Perhaps that’s because they have a vested interest in the status quo. Perhaps because they don’t see the issue the writer has identified as a problem. Perhaps they just can’t be bothered.

Whatever. A strident “must” demand isn’t going to get you where you want to go.

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