Boat rocking: a brief overview
Posted on January 21, 2010 by William Powell, One of Thousands of Leadership Coaches on Noomii.
We have all heard "Don't rock the boat" before and it carries a negative connotation. What if boat rocking were actually a positive thing?
What does it mean to rock the boat? We are told throughout most of our lives that rocking the boat is a bad thing; it definitely has a negative connotation. What if the definition of rocking the boat was a positive thing? What if we used different filters through which we measured this action? I would suggest that the world would look quite different, on a micro and macro scale.
A simple and practical way of describing rocking the boat can be: To challenge or upset the status quo; to challenge the generally accepted sequence of events or procedures. Do you find yourself avoiding this? Many people don’t want to draw attention to themselves, so they don’t rock the boat. Others don’t do it because they don’t have an alternative to the status quo and would rather not open, what they view to be, Pandora’s Box.
How did the status quo become the status quo? Is it because everyone does it? If that’s the case then belching should be the status quo, yet it’s not. I hesitate to believe that it was always the way it is now. I can’t imagine sixteenth century society acting as we act, nor vice versa; after all, we aren’t still a feudalistic society. So what happened? Was it an edict that came down from the powers that be? What brought about change to the status quo?
The short answer to the question is boat rocking. There was a person, or a group of people, who made a difference in what was acceptable and expected from the general populace. Some of the most peaceful and positive people who have ever walked the planet were boat rockers. Ghandi did not conform to the status quo. Nelson Mandela did not conform to the status quo; nor did Martin Luther, Martin Luther King Jr., JFK, Winston Churchill, Jesus, Rosa Parks and a host of others.
So was their boat rocking such a bad and negative thing? It depends on how you view the results of those mentioned above, I suppose, but generally speaking the results of their individual boat rocking are viewed in a generally positive light. This begs the question, “Is boat rocking a bad or good thing?”
In the next few articles you will read, we will explore what it means to rock the boat. We will look into what it looks like to rock your own personal boat, challenge the validity of conventional wisdom, talk more about status quo and it’s affects on your world view and entertain the notion that maybe there is a form of healthy rebellion.