Imagine if the folks in leadership situations (from government, to smaller groups such as schools and organizations and families) had honestly learned this back in kindergarten?
-1 + -1 = -2
A negative plus a negative does not equal a positive. Instead it equals two negatives, which puts things even more out of balance. This is the beginning of the downward spiral because if others follow the same logic of two wrongs making a right (aka tit for tat, in game theory) that second wrong will also be countered by yet another wrong, leading to three negatives, and so on.
Instead, try this logic:
-1 + 2 = 1
To get from a negative to a positive, so as to bring the overall balance of things into the positive side, you need to add two positives.
This is the natural positive spiral of healthy life. One step back and two steps forward.
This is the “logic” of the laws of nature and evolution – overall constant growth, with some periodic fluctuations that lead to sometimes having gross losses (mass extinctions) and sometimes having gross gains (more diversity), but always with a small net gain. (At least this is the case in our present universe. It’s definitely possible that this is just a temporary expansion in life, the universe, and everything that we know. But it seems to be safe to say that this very slow net growth will continue to be the case for at least as long as humans are around.)
So next time you encounter some wrong in the world, and you want to be evolutionary, or progressively revolutionary (as in a spiral), consider doing two things that are right. They can be as related or unrelated to the particular wrong as you want, as long as they are overall positive actions. And by positive, I mean promoting growth, physically, emotionally, intellectually, and/or spiritually. For humans that means increasing the availability of whole foods, clean water, fresh air, warmth, sunlight, and the freedom to express their excess solids, liquids, gases, and energy.
Maybe a clearer way to say it is “A wrong plus two rights makes a right.” What do you think?