We need to face the facts. We are a nation at war. And when we look back at the last 100-plus years, we always have been, haven’t we?
But unlike 100 years ago, our world is increasingly globalized and the real-time impacts of our social media culture are powerful and profound. Therefore, there is only one solution.
We need to become more radicalized. And I mean right now. We need to immerse ourselves in the kind of language, literature, videos, surroundings, and yes, mental and physical trainings that will enable us to emerge victorious in this epic of all battles we now face.
I am speaking of becoming more radicalized toward love than fear. And in perceived times like these, that can be challenging. I say ‘perceived’ because despite the despicable increase in mass shootings recently, and in particular those spawned by fear-based radicalized individuals, all factual statistics point to a marked decrease in deaths from violent causes in the US and other first world countries in the last few decades.
You would not know or think this if you were watching wall to wall media coverage. I am not saying the events in the last few weeks have not impacted me. They have resulted in many sleepless nights and plenty of anguish.
Indeed it is easy to shut down when immersed in such negativity. It is easy to close yourself off from other people, particularly those who don’t look like you, speak like you, think like you, have customs and traditions like yours…need I go on?
What’s much harder is to practice love and peace and openness when it is a bit more challenging to do so.
One antidote, and I only say this with a bit of facetiousness based on my personal experience during a couple of decades, is to go work at a high tech company. You will have no choice but to be immersed and INTEGRATED in the most awesome of multi-cultural teams and you will unite toward a common goal.
But even if you don’t work in tech, now is still the time for us all to become more open, more accepting, and more empathetic. I’m not suggesting you lay down and take a bullet for the country holding a daisy in the palm of your hand. However, I am proposing you remind yourself frequently to think and EXPRESS more peaceful and loving thoughts.
If you want to practice intolerance, and I suggest you exhibit this thought pattern in an extremely limited fashion and with great care and attention, then do it only toward those very select people who practice the most extreme forms of intolerance toward others. But don’t become a voyeur and gossiper who unwittingly spreads their hatred despite the best of intentions on your part. Refuse to accept it, tell others you refuse to accept it — even write to your congressperson — and then move on. Spend more time focused on solutions than problems.
Like every topic I write about, this subject is as applicable in your workspace as it is in your personal space. For example, I’m not suggesting you have to LOVE your job, but when you go about your day with more love than fear, you tend to simply do better. You’re more at peace with yourself, you’re more respected and admired, and you tend to do become more successful over the long term. It can be love for a task, for a meeting, for a group of people to collaborate with, for a project you’re working on, and even for an upcoming trip to get the hell away from your cube…just make it about love.
And like every article I write about, this theme may be more relevant for me than you. This is because I have fallen off the love train of late. I’ve been spending less time with personal development and spiritual books that inspire me. And I’ve been taking virtually no time to meditate. Instead I’ve spent too much time reading or watching the dreaded news, particularly since the Paris attacks a few weeks ago. As a result I have been less loving and giving. To put the implications of my personal conduct in business terms, that does not scale well.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting you or I become a 100 percent love machine. But I do propose that now is a very good time to cultivate awareness of your thoughts in the present moment. In other words, tap into yourself. Is your thinking more positive or negative, more inspired or angry, more loving or fearful, more open or closed, more embracing or shackled, more peaceful or turbulent?
Just as RGB is to the wonderful world of color, when it comes to our emotions, everything boils down to love and fear. And here is the best news. Unlike a specific PMS color, positively mastering our emotions is more of a relative than an absolute game.
Although I have plenty of crappy days and even weeks, I continue to have the utmost faith in myself, in you too, and in all of us.
Now let’s go and win this thing.
“Fear is going to be a player in your life. You get to decide how much.” – Jim Carrey