Minority Reports and Dangerous Questions

About 10 years ago, Steven Spielberg released the movie Minority Report starring Tom Cruise. Set in the future Washington, D.C., the story centers around the “Precrime” division of the police department.  Three human psychics, called “pre-cogs” are used to predict the future so that criminals are apprehended before the crime is committed.

The system works perfectly. Almost. It is later discovered that the 3 don’t always agree on the future. Every so often, one pre-cog would file a minority report – a different story of the possible events. But these dissenting reports are swept under the rug so that a unified prediction could be presented. Otherwise a conviction would be on shaky ground.

A differing opinion is not always a welcome thing.

I connect with this movie in a very odd way. Because I often feel like the fly in the ointment. Like the guy rocking the boat.

I feel like the guy delivering the minority report.

I tend to be a big picture person. I love looking at things from a different perspective. I want to wrestle and discuss and, yes, even fight a little bit to discover a better vision together.

But having vision requires questioning the status quo. Change is not easy and requires asking some difficult questions.

And one of the most dangerous questions someone could ask is “What if?

“What if…” is not always welcome. It challenges our pre-conceived notions, our stability, our plan. It causes change. It asks us to stop and think before blindly acting or staying on the same path. And honestly, the easiest thing to do is to sweep the questions and the challenges under the rug. It’s easier to bury the minority report and continue on with the status quo.

But that’s not how we grow. That’s not how great things are accomplished. Without this challenge, we tend to get too comfortable and stale. We need the minority reports in our lives – the ability to look from a different perspective and ask “What if?”

Here’s a couple things to consider:

1. Who in your life challenges you? Do you have someone who causes you to think about things in a different way? We need people in our lives that push us and make us uncomfortable. This can be a friend, a colleague or a mentor. It really doesn’t matter. It’s great to be surrounded by those that affirm us, but without anyone pushing us, we tend to stagnate. If you don’t have anyone providing minority reports in your life, I encourage you to find someone.

2. What groups are you a part of that could use a different perspective? Organizations always tend towards self-preservation. So in most cases, the status quo is valued highly. Could you be the person to provide the minority report? It can be a scary thing to speak up; and your opinions will not always be met with excitement. But your perspective may be the one to cause someone else to think or the one to spur someone else to action.

So today, may you not be afraid of the minority report. May you meet a different perspective with joy instead of fear. May you enjoy the struggle of growth and change. And may you be unafraid to speak up and voice your opinion in your family, your church, your school or your government.

Because minority reports may not always be welcome, but they are important.

2 thoughts on “Minority Reports and Dangerous Questions

  1. I don’t know if there are still debate classes in schools or not but when i was in high school it was my favorite class and the only club i actually participated in. i loved being the “Devil’s Advocate”, taking the other side and even better if it was the unpopular side. I found early in life that if you only talked or associated with persons who agree with you, you are hampered in learning, if you are on an opposite side you have to think. In todays world it seems to be that you are evil, non Christian or well what could be worse, if you disagree. Its not fun or enlightening or educational much less possible anymore to have a friendly debate in everyday conversation. We could learn a lot if we agreed that we would take an unpopular side and have a civilized conversation, If that happens, give me a call and please give me the unpopular side.

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