Most people are familiar with the concept of a Blue and Red
pill from the film The Matrix.
"You take the Blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in
your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the Red pill, you
stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."
- Morpheus – The Matrix
What is being offered is a choice to stay in blissful
ignorance or take a step into a new way of looking at the world. Either choice
This is what the Pragmatic Family of frameworks offers. An
opportunity to look into a new way of looking at the world, or alternatively to
continue in a state of ignorance. There is nothing wrong with ignorance,
Melchet (a character from Blackadder - a UK TV comedy show) states:
“If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to
look facts in the face will see us through.”
But taking the red pill is not an easy choice. It is after
all a step into the unknown. Into something we can’t yet see. Our primitive
brains are hardwired to fear what we cannot see or understand. To be wary, to
ignore, to reject, to dismiss.
Perhaps, for people to accept a new reality or a new idea,
people should go through various stages.
The Kübler-Ross model (otherwise known as the five stages of
grief) postulates a series of emotions experienced by terminally ill patients
prior to death, or people who have lost a loved one, wherein the five stages
are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Denial – The first reaction is
denial. In this stage individuals believe the diagnosis is somehow mistaken,
and cling to a false, preferable reality.
Anger – When the individual
recognizes that denial cannot continue, they become frustrated, especially at
proximate individuals. Certain psychological responses of a person undergoing
this phase would be: "Why me? It's not fair!"; "How can this
happen to me?"; "Who is to blame?"; "Why would this
Bargaining – The third stage
involves the hope that the individual can avoid a cause of grief. Usually, the
negotiation for an extended life is made in exchange for a reformed lifestyle.
People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek compromise. For instance:
"I'd give anything to have him back." Or: "If only he'd come
back to life, I'd promise to be a better person!"
Depression – "I'm so sad,
why bother with anything?"; "I'm going to die soon, so what's the
point?"; "I miss my loved one, why go on?" During the fourth
stage, the individual despairs at the recognition of their mortality. In this
state, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the
time mournful and sullen.
Acceptance – "It's going to
be okay."; "I can't fight it; I may as well prepare for it." In
this last stage, individuals embrace mortality or inevitable future, or that of
a loved one, or other tragic event. People dying may precede the survivors in
this state, which typically comes with a calm, retrospective view for the
individual, and a stable condition of emotions.
That same model can be also applied to how people deal with
new ideas that go against what they believe they already know.
Denial – “It can’t be true”, “We
Anger –"Don’t’ tell me I’ve
being doing things badly, we are great at what we do!”, “Why don’t you shut up”
Bargaining – "Can’t I just
ignore it?", “Do we have to adopt it all?” “What’s the smallest thing we
can do?” Can we just do it to one part of the Enterprise first?”
Depression – "OMG, I’m actually
going to have to do something about this!"
Acceptance – "Hey –
actually it’s not as bad as I thought!”, “When you get into the detail its all
quite straightforward really!”