For the past 4 years we in the U.S. have dealt with a lot of egotistical, maniacal, narcissistic, grandiosity and apathetic, ignorant, recalcitrant personalities. I am not talking about one or two people although they could be easily identified . The concomitant behaviors are destructive and many people, far more than I would have believed, don’t care. Beliefs are often personally held and protected and those who are insecure and fearful do not want to collaborate, cooperate or communicate in an open and honest dialogue. They do not want to be part of a sharing and caring community that feeds the hungry, clothes the naked or provides shelter for the homeless. They are in it for themselves and they do not want to risk changing their minds, attitudes, behaviors or portfolios. While I understand the behaviors, I abhor the results.
The malicious inaction as well as destructive actions, false claims, & power grabs, and putting self ahead of all others is not service. The past 4 years of this kind of “leadership” has produced more polarization, paralysis and serious questions. We have suffered through the results. What next?
The national issues of health and health care, employment, education, racism, the climate crisis, the infrastructure and the economy are plain to see and deeply felt by millions of our citizens. Those issues are also global in nature and affect everyone one way or another whether or not there is conscious awareness of the impact. Few want to consider a planet at risk although it seems we have arrived at that flashpoint in our ongoing history.
How we go about building and strengthening communities of compassion and caring should be high on our agenda for the coming decade. How we work intelligently toward equity, inclusion and embracing the richness of diversity needs to be an essential part of our strategies in the corporate, for-profit world as well as in the non-profit domains, and in our local neighborhoods and communities. Why we might want to do this needs to be made plain and palatable.
Fortunately, change is on the horizon and the opportunity to work together, regardless of differences, can be addressed head on, at least among those willing to consider building rather than tearing down.There will always be differences of opinion so let those differences be transparent so that we might find common ground.
This is a good time to question assumptions, to think independently without blindly adopting what others think or say, and to be responsible and accountable for what each of us says and does. If more were willing to accept a common set of rules for engagement, listen without judgment, and be respectful and honest, we could make some real progress. Of course, that is predicated on a desire to make things better and not accept the status quo.
For many this means stepping outside a comfort zone to a place where one is uncomfortable, vulnerable and open to new ideas, relationships and structures. This is where the open mind versus the closed mindwill be plain to see. Why not be like the parachute? It works so much better open than closed. And, the benefit is a soft landing, preferably without injury to anyone.