The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Doing vs Undoing

Progress cannot be made by undoing anything.

In the current political discourse, there has been a lot of talk about undoing this, or undoing that.  It’s all been about going back and taking apart what has been done.  But how can you possibly move forward when your action is backwards?

Undoing is the opposite of doing.  It is backwards, not forwards motion.  If we want to see progress, if we want to see things move forward, undoing things gets us nowhere fast.

Dictionary.com offers 57 definitions of the word “do”.  But highlights include:

verb (used with object)

1.to perform (an act, duty, role, etc.): Do nothing until you hear the bell.

2.to execute (a piece or amount of work): to do a hauling job.

3.to accomplish; finish; complete: He has already done his homework.

4.to put forth; exert: Do your best.

verb (used without object)

25.to proceed: to do wisely.

All of these are to the effect that doing includes things that move you forward, that make life actually happen.

So, let’s look at dictionary.com again to explore “undo”:

verb (used with object), un·did, un·done, un·do·ing.

1.to reverse the doing of; cause to be as if never done: Murder once done can never be undone.

2.to do away with; erase; efface: to undo the havoc done by the storm.

3.to bring to ruin or disaster; destroy: In the end his lies undid him.

By definition, undoing is unproductive, and certainly not about making progress.  Undoing is almost a denial of life happening.

There is this recurrent theme going on about returning to a previous state.  Returning to the way things were (which, usually, is highly idealized and nowhere near the reality of the matter).  We need to go back, and we need to undo what was done and do it all again, but this different way.

Going back does not get us where we need to go.  Going back and undoing things is not conducive to forward motion.

This is entirely based on fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of the unusual, but most of all fear of change.  And those in power love to play on that fear, and instead of acknowledging the reality of change, they play off the fear of it, and instead suggest going back and undoing what has been done.

Undoing is not an answer.  In fact, it’s very much the opposite.  What good does it do us to undo something?  As you can see from the definition of undoing, it is the cause of ruin, erasure, and destruction.  All of these things are negatives that do not build anything, they tear down and destroy.

Our present and our future should not be about tearing down and destroying.  It should be about building, creating, and doing.  This fear-based association with undoing, in order to negate the inevitability of change is deeply harmful, and causes our society to further devolve into these artificial groupings.

We need to let go of the fear of change.  Change is inevitable.  It cannot be stopped, it is going to happen.  We need instead to embrace it, and work within the framework of creation, and build what we have before us.  Do, instead of undo.

Fear has been used by leaders since we began to live in communities with specific ideologies.  Fear is so easy to exploit, so easy to call up, and they use it to get what they want, and keep the rest of us disempowered, fearful, on edge.  So they talk about how it WAS, denying that how it is and how it will be are a result of the inevitability of change, and use our inherent fear of change to suggest if we undo this or that, change can be stopped.

Change cannot be stopped.  Change can, however, be shaped, can be controlled, can be directed.  But we should not be afraid, and we should not be focused on undoing to build our future.  To truly make progress, we have to DO, not undo.

We each have much, much more power than we believe.  We are each creators, we all have the ability to make our lives as we want them to be.  But we need to let go of the unnecessary fear, the anger, the negativity towards those with different views, and work together to DO, in order to achieve the greater good.

Maybe if we stop working to undo things, and instead DO things, we can live in a far less conflicted, far less divided, far more complete world.

Do you spend your days doing stuff, or undoing stuff?

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6 Comments

  1. Ze'ev

    See, here’s the thing. Sometimes things are done that we don’t like. And we want them not to have happened, and failing that to have them not continue. For example, Prohibition was a bad idea. Then as a nation we undid it through the 21st Amendment. That was undoing. So was Brown v. Board of Ed. So was Obama’s promise to shut down Guantanamo.

    Getting rid of bad policies is doing something.

    • You are correct, contextually. However, something was DONE in order to make these changes.

      The problem really is context – working from a constructive vs a non-constructive attitude. The notion that you can undo sets the wrong direction, and plays on fear, as opposed to the idea of DOING something.

      I want to “undo x”. Ok, so what do you want to DO instead? Or, better yet, tell me what you want to DO in order to fix ‘x’? I believe there is more power in doing than undoing, and that’s what people should consider.

  2. Ze'ev

    Your last paragraph is, I think a different critique. Saying, “My opponents policy suggestions are bad” should be followed up with “My policy suggestions are to do x y and z.”

    Of course something is done to undo bad policy. It doesn’t go away on its own, usually. There is the notion of letting things expire (assault weapons ban, bush tax cuts), but unless something is built with a time limit, you have to do something to make it go away. So then I don’t understand your criticism of doing vs undoing.

    • The criticism is about the approach. Undoing implies and speaks about going back – doing is about moving forward. My issue is in this belief that we can return to the way things were by undoing the way things are, rather than doing something different than what currently “is” in order to facilitate change. Undoing, in this context, is fear-based (see previous posts on fear and my issue with that). It’s the energy being used, and the language, and a concept.

      • Ze'ev

        Could you explain the difference as you see it between the sort of undoing you are talking about and the examples of undoing I provided?

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