Thursday, January 26, 2017

Silence doesn’t work! Speak up and out!

 The Badlands National Park joined the #resistance after our new commander and chief forbad any ‘talk’, aka social media gag order, about the environment that might include alternative facts. The tweet that saw their twitter account go from 7,000 to over 180,000 followers in hours was because of their boldness to talk about hideous sinister things like Carbon Footprint and Ocean Acidification. These clearly have brought an imminent threat to our society or at least to our new President’s ego.

The clear question that pushes many to join the #resistance is why be so fearful of the truth? Did the posting of pictures of Obama and Trump’s inaugural crowd warrant this type of back lash to have a social media gag order? What happened to having a sense of humor and ability to take criticism via talk show hosts or even the SNL ongoing satirical performances? Isn’t it possible to laugh at oneself and benefit?

I know that many have fallen for the adage if you tell a lie often enough everyone will believe it, including yourself? I do understand our obsession with numbers and being on top regardless of life experience that ultimately teaches that the truth does matter and will help not hurt! So how is it still possible to deny that the popular vote for our last election didn’t go for our new President? Why fabricate a story about voter fraud with illegal immigrants? I do remember one of the more important life lessons my mom attempted to teach was how to be a gracious loser and a humble winner! So, what gives with our new President’s press secretary and advisor when it comes to their fear of just being real and honest? Do we need to invent the term alternative facts instead of just calling a lie a lie or a fabrication?

What’s fascinating is how someone, not just our new leader, can get how speaking out and up does influence the mass populace and in the past the silent majority usually lost to the vocal minority. It’s impossible to deny that following a drizzly rainy day for the inauguration of our 45th President that there was a historic worldwide protest with two million people speaking out the following day. The pictures from cities all over the US and the world can’t be brushed away unless you are the master at diversion like making voter fraud the hot topic.

I do believe that what we say and how we live out our passions totally matter! It will be incredible to now see a group of scientists and nature lovers strand up and speak out! Do we need another pipeline that will trample across our nation to reveal the power of executive order? What happened to alternative energy sources? It’s ok to dream up alternative facts to avoid the truth but what will hit home soon is that our stewardship of our planet is at an all-time low? Recently just spoke with a couple of Chinese College students from Beijing who were amazed at the lack of pollution in the US! They were thrilled to be able to breath in less contaminates and now fresh air!

I know that the dialogue must be both ways or multiple ways for our country to work and not recede into a dictatorship. The question is whether you are going to speak out and up and not be the silent majority or minority? What makes life exciting and interesting is our ability to learn together, disagree together and then ultimately discover the truth together.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What happened to the ‘Golden Rule’? It’s not about the gold?

As I’m sitting at my ‘Starbucks’ I’ve already seen a few rather impatient customers who would benefit greatly in considering how they treat others! Yes, the golden rule isn’t about how much gold you own but how you treat those around you. Especially in the context of customers who assume that the world revolves around them. I just spent the last couple of hours helping someone, paid their wireless bill and the individual wasn’t too nice. I still paid after explaining the circumstances for helping. (It was a tech issue not people.)

Why is it the case that all sides of what appear to be crisis issues that face the world around us, politics, alternative facts, climate change, the wall, etc.… seem to always put people at odds? Isn’t it possible to stop for a few, catch your breath and show some common sense and courtesy? Imagine what would happen if kindness, not fairness became the mindset of all? Instead of screaming at someone, assuming the worst, why not give this individual a chance? I know that there are many that will bash our new president or presidential supporters that will pretend that everything is ‘hunky dory’?

Is it possible for someone without means, the gold, to be in a position of leadership and power? Why do some assume that the pathway to greatness or leadership is all about wealth? Why do the world CEO’s have to make 100 x of the average employee salary? How is it possible that the wealth of the world is in the hands of a few? The good news is that a few of those that have the gold are great at divesting their wealth by helping and empowering others!

I was amazed last night as I listened to a new college intern talk about the importance of treating all people, regardless of circumstances with respect. The clear message from her was that you ultimately control the world around you by how you treat others. It’s so easy to want to scream at a neighbor, friend, spouse or your kid because of the injustices in the world. The louder you scream unfortunately the more distress you cause. The poor choice of words at the Women’s March recently by Madonna didn’t help the cause. (Yes, Fbombs and threats about the White House will never be received well!)

I know that most as little kids have chanted that sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me. The reality is at times words become the most powerful tool that can be used for either good or evil.

So, it’s time to stop fixating on the gold and think more about being intentional about how you treat the stranger or workplace person that irritates you.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Protests, inauguration and what are you doing for others!

It’s so easy in the midst of the protests and inaugurational hype to be side tracked and forget what has made the US a great nation. I envy those that have the means and time to participate either in the actual swearing in ceremony or the massive protests speaking out for the rights of those that have been marginalized. I admit that I haven’t seen our county so divided as it is today with the questions about whether our next president can accomplish good for all citizens. I know that it’s so easy to cast stones and scream out instead of seeing what is truly needed is another revolution with this MLK mindset of servant leadership.

After recently watching the movie, Hidden Figures, I was reminded of how extremely racist we were as a nation not that long ago and how we’ve made progress but still have opportunity today to bring together a divided nation. The real question everyone should be asking is what’s ultimately the biggest concern in the country that must be addressed ASAP? Is it building a wall, deporting the dreamers, racism, gender equality, bullying large corporations from moving their operations outside the US or raising the minimum wage to a livable wage? Clearly there are strong views on all sides of these issues.

As the White House has watched the packing of one family as the unpacking of another family has taken place who decides the key issues? What determines whether something is done about racism, wage inequality or lead in the main water supply of too many cities? Sadly, our differences and unwillingness to compromise has caused our politicians and citizens to experience this great divide. We unfortunately end up with all sides screaming at each other instead of working together to accomplish the most good for the majority. Instead too often the power brokers take over and the average person is left behind.

I was so impressed with an article about a senior who was running a local ½ marathon and unfortunately fell close to the finish line. This gentleman was bruised and bloodied yet, two Samaritans came out of the woodwork and helped him cross the finish line. There were pictures in the local press with this bloodied runner searching for his two angels. Why can’t we be more willing to put aside our differences and need to be right and help in a common sense fashion those that are within arms’ length? Why do we continue to allow our differences; socially, religiously, racially and politically to cripple us so we purposely live in a divided world with hatred and bitterness at the forefront instead of love and forgiveness?

The Word’s eyes have all been focused on an outgoing president and his last-minute pardons and the incoming president who has tweeted up a storm. Yet, the eyes of the world should be turned to one another to stop talking about ‘stuff’ and be doing something to make a difference for the senior who has been forgotten, the recently widowed or thousands of children that are in the foster care system. What defines our cultures shouldn’t be the amount of massive wealth we have acquired but what have we done for others without expecting anything in return.

What if we were to actually live out the real golden rule putting others before ourselves instead of believing that those with the most gold are the real rulers?

So, what should be the most persistent and urgent question before the US and the world? How does one person make an impact that will make a difference in the life of one person today!