Thursday, July 19, 2012

Balancing Hope and Reality

Once again, after writing some blogs calling for accountability in politicians and business leaders, I am receiving a fair bit of email from faithful readers asking me to stay with the stuff that inspires them, raises their spirits and reminds them of the potential of humanity and NOT the stuff that reminds them of the problems that need to be solved.

I would love to but here is the challenge I see.

I am amazed with the potential of humanity.  Every day I witness examples of unlimited kindness between strangers, stories of inspiration that blow my mind, incredible solutions in the areas of technology and medicine and a plethora of stuff that makes me gape in awe at the positive things we can create.

Every day I have exchanges with friends, family and complete strangers that makes me reflect on the day and be thankful for the blessings in my Life.

We ARE an amazing species when we choose to be.

However …..

There are things going on in this world that call us to stand up and fight for what we believe is right.

When we don’t, we are telling the Universe that protecting that which matters to us doesn’t really matter – that  we are taking the blessings in our Life for granted instead of choosing to fight for them.

Unfortunately, many of of us have discovered what happens when we take things for granted in Life.

The world is made up of incredible people containing an amazing combination of love, intellect, talents, strengths, purpose and passion ….. people that remind us that the world is a beautiful place.

But it also has people in it who don’t care about making the world a more beautiful place - people who are playing the game for their own benefit for a variety of reasons and often at the expense of others.

And some of these people can’t be reasoned with by sharing a little love, inspiring them with a powerful story that reminds them that they are doing the wrong thing or by turning the other cheek when they slap us.

The only language they understand is confrontation and so they must be dealt with in a manner that they understand.  Sometimes they need a cranial defibrillator applied to their head, sending them a message that we won’t stand for what they represent or how they live their life at our expense.

It’s like taking a walk down a street in the bowels of a large city.

One minute, you may be witnessing a heart wrenching scene as you see a homeless person lying on the street in despair, all hope being lost.

Then your heart is raised to dizzying heights when a complete stranger approaches the homeless person and extends a gift of food, love or companionship.

As you walk down the street contemplating this, someone steps out from a darkened doorway and says “give me your *&@%#(@ wallet or I’ll kill you”.

Telling that person a powerful story about the homeless man you just saw is not likely to sway their intentions for you.

And so while we must always be aware of and share the beauty, love and inspiration we see around us, we must also be prepared to defend against those who don’t care or would see it destroyed.

It is only when we demand better from those who seek to make the world a darker, more dangerous place, those who steamroll over us to achieve their own selfish objectives or those who allow misinformed / uninformed emotion to carry the day instead of relying on facts and dialog directed towards solutions can we ensure that the prospects of a better world remain within our grasp.

Life is not about seeing everything that is bad or by assuming that by pretending it’s all good, that the bad disappears automatically.

It is about balancing hope and reality.

The things that inspire us, motivate us and remind us of the positive power of the human spirit are not simply a right as some people believe nor are they guaranteed.

It is something we have to choose to fight for and defend.

Well … only if we really care about it.

So there are days when I will make my readers laugh or cry or inspire them to model the inspiring work of others.

But then there are days when I may frighten or anger them, either in what I state explicitly or in what I hide between the lines.

No matter what the result, I will have made the reader think and perhaps encouraged action to be taken as a result.

And at the end of the day, if I have accomplished this, then I will have considered my mission to be complete.

How is your mission coming along?

How do you know?

In service and servanthood,


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