Growing up in Massachusetts I was well versed on the story of the Salem with trials in the town on the north shore of the east coast of the Bay State. But like many things in your backyard, I have only been there once, and that was just a few years ago. The story of the witch hunt came back to mind as I read The Crucible, the play written by Arthur Miller in the 1950’s. Little did I think beforehand I would find lessons of business as well as life in its pages.
Miller’s play was written at the time of anti-Communist sentiment and inquisitions in Washington DC, and these events inspired Miller to write The Crucible as he saw parallels to the inquisition of a few hundred years earlier. The book version of the play has a detailed introduction describing both time periods and how the play came into being, and is an excellent context to the play as well as a recap of history.
My greatest take-away from the play is a quest for the truth. It is needless to say the entirety of the witch trials were based on hearsay and emotion and not the truth. This is not to say business should be totally devoid of emotion or compassion, rather in the face of insanity and chaos that can slip into a business setting, a quest toward facts will more likely than not be the best path to take.
Another take-away from the play is considering the impact of your actions on your environment. Even if a decision you might make is unpopular and pursuing its resolution is the best course to take, you can take steps to minimize its impact on the community you are in. This can be everything from being completely covert to completely transparent. The way information is delivered as well can satisfy those who may not agree with the decision. Sometimes the medium is the message.
Speaking of community, I read this book as it was a gift from Chicago’s One Book, One Chicago program. This is an excellent promotion of literacy around the Windy City where thousands of people are reading the same book at the same time!
I enjoyed The Crucible and recommend it to anyone. It is a well-written story accurately retelling a dark period of the early history of the US. Its script format helps the reader get deeper into the characters and see the story as someone living at that time. Though Halloween has passed, read it now, and then re-read it next October.
This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.
Book Take-Aways • Diversions • (0) Comments • Permalink
Page 1 of 1 pages