If you read yesterday's blog, then you may recognize a theme building. I was exploring some of the examples of good leadership I have witnessed in my life in that post. But, you may have also missed other parts of this theme. I spent some time lauding people who reliably take on tasks that are often taken for granted. I suggested that we have a responsibility to set an example because there are always others who learn from us - both the good and the bad. I explored the idea that our words and our actions need to be consistent and more meaningful if we really want to make a difference. And of course, I wanted to make it clear that things are never as simple as we seem to want them.
Today, I just want to say a couple of simple things.
1. Our goal in life should not be to 'win' or to cause others to 'lose.' It should not be so much about 'us' or 'them.'
Things are rarely this simple - so win and lose, us and them, and even 'let's all agree to get along' are probably too easy to actually encompass life and all of the things that go with it.
At present, we appear to have settled on the use of a convenient filter: "If you aren't one of us, you aren't worth talking to. Instead, you are an excellent bulls-eye for target practice." It's simple. It's fairly easy to apply. And the results are pretty clear too. If you aren't one of us - you are bad. If you are are one of us - you are good.
Convenient because it is pretty easy. Until someone you thought was your friend says or does something that is not consistent with your view of what they should being doing or saying. Are you really so small that you will ignore your life's experience with this individual and drop them into the ring of persecution? Apparently, many of us ARE that small - but I think we are, on the whole, better than that.
Oddly enough - we seem to also extend MORE grace to public figures that we have adopted as 'one of us' than we do people with whom we have personal relationships. And, we extend EVEN LESS grace to public figures who are 'one of them.'
2.We are divided because we say we are - constantly.
And then there is this.
I have long believed in our own ability to create self-fulfilling prophesies. If we keep telling ourselves that we can find a solution to problem X if we apply ourselves to learning everything about it and working to find the best workable solution - we will do it.
No, I am not being naive. I fully recognize that things happen that are outside of our control. Not everything works out. Life is not always fair. Some folks will never want to be a positive part of a team. Other people may not be able to.
But, I still strongly believe that our choice of litany opens the door for success or pushes us into failure. If we keep telling ourselves that we are divided and we have no common ground - we'll eventually believe it enough to make it true. If we change the narrative and focus on finding a positive way forward - then I believe we will.
Yet - everything is so easy when it is all "good and evil" and "us versus them." You automatically know who to blame - who cares about the truth? After all, truth is ridiculously messy and complex.
Which is exactly why the truth is so beautiful.
Thank you for reading and considering. I hope you have a good day!