Monday, April 27, 2009

Creating A Different Kind of Noise

What a cacophony we are bombarded with these days:

  • increasing issues regarding global warming
  • terrorism
  • the Iraq war
  • the war in Afghanistan
  • coming soon according to some – the war against Pakistan or some other nation that displeases us
  • an energy crisis
  • a health crisis
  • a financial crisis
  • a public wave of murder / suicides related to the financial crisis
  • swine flu (just when you thought you had reached your saturation point of bad news)
  • a level of political correctness so powerful that we can’s say anything that might offend anybody (which means we can say very little)
  • a level of political bullying, such that if you voice specific opinions on certain subjects, you are immediately publically vilified (meanwhile we say – it’s a good thing we aren’t as ignorant to the opinions of others as they were in the 15th century).
  • an increased sense of paranoia that something or someone is ready to kill us at any moment unless we relinquish our freedom in exchange for security.  Interestingly enough, the people we are relinquishing our freedom to are the people who tell us we are in trouble.
  • a litany of misinformation, including the soldiers of Abu Ghraib  prison who were punished as rogues that violated the human rights of Iraqis when we now discover they were acting under orders from the top of the US administration.

Is it any wonder that our minds don’t melt from an overload of such negative information?

I think they have melted somewhat – we just haven’t figured it out yet.  Some people suggest that our minds have melted so badly that we have lost the ability to self diagnose or that we have correctly diagnosed the issues but we are too tired or afraid to do anything.

I don’t believe this to be true – I believe that our passion burns hot and deep.  Many of us just need a little help bringing this burning desire to the surface.

When I write blogs or articles that reference the need to assert our passion more, to love others more, to follow our faith more (however we define it) and to make a greater difference in the world, hundreds of people privately applaud me but most are afraid to do so in public. 

They fear repercussions from family, friends and co-workers.  Some are politicians more focused on being re-elected than doing what they know is the right thing.  As one friend noted – '”Do you realize that your thoughts are needed but not welcome in the circles of authority?”.

How unfortunate.

In a part of the world founded on encouraging an exchange of thoughts (without necessarily having to agree with them), incubating a belief in the “American Dream” (or the Canadian equivalent), being passionate about the things important to us, holding civil and corporate leaders to specific standards of morals and values, and championing rights and freedoms important to our ancestors, it seems to me that we are losing the strength or interest to assert our beliefs, our passions and most importantly, our voice. 

Some of us have become intimidated to the point where many of us (not all, thankfully) fear for our reputation if we publically follow our heart.  Meanwhile, our spirits may feel crushed by the constant bombardment of bad news and we are caught in an internal tug of war, knowing what needs to be done but being afraid to do it.

Sometimes it is difficult to see that in this onslaught of bad news there are passionate people out there making a difference in the areas where we need it most – empowering us to effect positive change for our environment, promoting the health and wellness of people around the planet, building peace within humanity and strengthening the ecological / economical future of our planet.

We should be grateful for these people.

We should find a group that aligns with what we hold to be important for ourselves and our families and join that group.

Groups like Canada’s World, World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse, Oxfam, the Clinton Foundation and others are leading the way to making a difference.

If you don’t know who to speak to, reach out to someone like me – people like me love to connect passionate people with other passionate people.

If you don’t like these organizations, don’t complain about them.  Use your energy to help them improve their offering and execution.  If you feel that you caught in a trap of excessive complaining without action, reach out to this group, A Complaint Free World.  They’ll help you get back on track.

If existing groups still don’t work for you, create a new group that makes a difference.

Whatever you do, find a way to help contribute to the needs of the world.  Don’t wait – many of the challenges on this planet are accelerating and need to be addressed sooner rather than later.

Let’s create a different kind of noise – one built around making a difference instead of focusing on how things are allegedly falling apart.  It would be great if our actions spoke so loudly, that we would not be able to hear each other speak.

Many famous writers and philosophers over the years, going back to biblical times, note that we create what we focus on.

So let’s stop focusing on the end of times and instead, focus on a world filled with people aspiring to make a difference for others.

As the great Louis B. Armstrong sang in “What a Wonderful World”:

The colors of a pretty the sky
Are also on the faces.....of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands.....sayin’.. how do you do
They’re really sayin’......i love you.

I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more.....than Ill never know
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world

It is indeed a wonderful world.

If we really love our children and our children’s children, we’ll keep it that way.

For those who follow sports, it’s like being up three games to nothing in a best of seven series.

It’s ours to win or lose.

What side do you prefer to be on?

Yours in service and servanthood.



  1. Harry - After reading your musings, I am often reminded of just how grateful I am to have crossed paths with you. I always feel recharged and appreciate your challenges to live more authentically.

    Thanks for being such a great leader, motivator and friend!

  2. Dear Melba,

    I am humbled by your words - thank you.

    The truth is that I am grateful every day for the wonderful people I come in contact with - people like yourself.

    Meeting wonderful people reminds me that it is worth the effort to try to be authentic with ourselves and to make a difference to others.

    If there weren't wonderful people in the world such as yourself, I would be injecting more money into SETI, with the hopes I could find someone on another planet to help me discover a different place. :-)

    Take care and thanks for the note, Melba.

    Create a great day!


  3. Thanks for that post Harry - I couldn't agree more about the need to join organizations of people with shared visions and goals for our communities!

    Thank you for sharing your message!


  4. Harry,
    Another inspirational message. We need more people like you in the world. People committed to making a difference.

    You're making a difference in my life for I was about to complain about spending the entire day editing a chapter when I thought to myself, "What a Wonderful Life."

  5. Hi Aubrey,

    Many thanks for your kind words. I am aware of the projects you get involved in - you lead by example!

    Well done!

    Take care and create a great day!


  6. Hi Leonard,

    You honor and humble me. Thank you for your kind words.

    The work you do changes the lives of many. I am honored to receive your comment.

    Take care and create a great day!