The intent of this blog is not to take a political position, nor to inflame the passions that are feeding the many crises we are facing… but to identify the state of our thinking, and to discover solutions to resolve our critical issues for a best outcome. Now is the time to commit to improving your life, and those about you by reexamining your concepts, and listening to others.
We pray these shared wisdoms will inspire you to overcome these crippling challenges and help build our homeland into an even greater place for unified caring people.
It all starts with that one person. You… making the decision to improve yourself.
“Houston, we have a problem.”
Not even a cave dweller deep in the mountains is unaware that America is at a crux in time. For the last half year we have experienced critical challenges… the COVID 19 virus with its subsequent lockdown, resulting in a huge financial impact that has touched every segment of our society; unrest in the home and on the streets of our major cities; protests of civil injustice; isolating ourselves into identity cells with disdain for others; riots and violence causing damage in the billions of dollars; financial insecurity and an unemployment rate of over eight percent… Additionally we are facing a deeply contentious election.
“In time of crisis people want to know that you care, more than they care what you know .”
These multiple crises have all added up, and… as they say, “Houston, we have a problem.” We have fractured the core of a civilized people.
It’s as if we as a society have forgotten how to care for each other.
The American philosopher Will Rogers, in his folksy style offered, “In time of crisis people want to know that you care, more than they care what you know .”
How much do you really care about others?
This should be a soul searching question, not readily answered with a, “I care a lot.” Have we as individuals and a society as a whole, become so self-centered, so angered and jaded that our ability to care for each other has been replaced often with disdain, anger or hatred?
It’s time to acknowledge the fact… that in all ways, WE ARE in this together.
Across the spectrum of our diverse media, angry voices are screaming and few are listening. It seems that we are so consumed by our pain and anger that we cannot hear the cries for help and relief from suffering from our neighbors and friends.
Isn’t it far past time to start caring for those who are in as much distress as ourselves? It’s time to acknowledge the fact… that in all ways, WE ARE in this together.
The wise among us urge, “let your instincts kick in.”
In a period of intense difficulties beyond our control, we must think outside the range of common logic… trusting our instincts. It is time to make bold decisions… and pray that they are correct. Since humans first gathered, intuition has been our internal guide for protection, beyond logical thinking. History has proven that intuition is the greater of the two.
Charles de Gaulle, the renowned French President General and pivotal leader in the first half of the last century once said, “Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back on himself. He imposes his own stamp of action, takes responsibility for it, makes it his own.”
Make it a priority today, to get to know each other better. How can we possibly understand the needs of others without getting to know the person?
What actions can we take that will improve this situation, that you can create and take ownership? What can you do to bring your family, your inner circle, your community and even our nation together? What actions can you take that will make a difference? No more lip service and platitudes… it is the time for action.
Make it your priority, to get to know each other better.
How can we possibly understand the needs of others without getting to know the person? On social media, and in conversations, we are confronted with statements that don’t align with our thinking, and so often we retaliate with strong rebuttals supporting our own beliefs… and this goes on and on, with no resolution.
We must develop the skills of good negotiators by responding with questions that allow a further explanation of their thinking. For example, “Have you considered trying to understand the issue from their perspective?”
As my elders reminded us, “Have you walked a mile in their moccasins?”
Or, “How does this bring us closer together?” By doing so you can start a dialogue instead of another argument, whereby you both can share your thoughts, gaining a better understanding of he individual basics, thereby making it easier to find things in common.
As my elders reminded us, “Have you walked a mile in their moccasins?”
A great book that can help you better develop these skills is Trey Goudy’s “Doesn’t Hurt to Ask” Using the Power of Questions to Communicate, Connect, and Persuade. In his book, Goudy offers, “(No one) likes being told directly what to do, asking questions becomes the subtlest and most effective way to persuade. One of the most important questions he reminds us is to ask, “What do you want to accomplish?”
Everything doesn’t have to be a battle, right or wrong or polar opposites. However this takes work! If it was easy, we wouldn’t be so separated.
The Chinese word for crisis is composed of two characters – 危機– danger and a point of change.
Don’t compromise your principles, yet work diligently to discover commonality and respect for others’ principles, as you negotiate through discovery questioning. This will work towards a workable compromise.
How different it would be if we were more self-disciplined.
The Chinese philosopher, K’ung Fu-tzu or Confucius (551 – 479 BCE) was aware that the ancient Chinese word for crisis is composed of two characters – 危機– danger and a point of change. Like us today, Confucius lived during a time of ideological crisis in China. He embodied that two-character tenant, creating ethical models of family and public interaction… ever cognizant that crisis embodied a tipping point, requiring balancing the ying and yang of its definition.
His teachings combined rules for thinking and living that focus on self-discipline, homage for ancestors, respect for elders, love for humanity, and conformity to rituals.
How different our lives would be if we were more self-disciplined. Wouldn’t”t be remarkable to runderstand what our ancestors must have gone through to get us to this place and time?
Wise leaders today acknowledge that one of the most vital aspects in our daily life that is missing in our culture is that of ritual. This is not referring to our daily routines such as getting up at a particular time, enjoying that first cuppa, putting in the hours at work, evening meal and retiring at 10. Although these are important, the rituals they refer to are those of spirituality.
Three Levels of Ritual https://wewan.org/three-levels-of-ritual/
Henri Nouwen said, “I have an increasing sense that the most important crisis of our time is spiritual… and be able to integrate the emotional struggles in their spiritual journeys.”
So many today have found various different, but unimportant, substitutes for meaningful rituals. For those who are on a religious path, be that the Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Confucius… or the other multitudes of spiritual paths, including that of the authors’, the Mide’ way, returning to our roots, and observing our sacred rituals is critically important. Even if you have no belief or spirituality, you can find satisfaction in rituals such as meditation, mindful programs or mind calming exercises.
Henri Nouwen said, “I have an increasing sense that the most important crisis of our time is spiritual and that we need places where people can grow stronger in the spirit and be able to integrate the emotional struggles in their spiritual journeys.”
Have we, by ignoring those rituals, abdicated our obligations and weakened our resolve to be better people, thereby creating a better society for all? It’s time to get into a habit of living with rituals. The faithful practice of your rituals, spiritual or meditative, will make you a better person. I promise.
There you have it! We have addressed several of our current crisis’ and have discovered solutions that work. This is the beginning… These are offered as starting points, not rules. As you have read the above, we are certain that this has spurred you to think of “your” solutions. Whatever you do, don’t leave this reading without making a commitment to improve your life, and those about you by having these good conversations, reexamining your concepts, and incorporating the rituals in our daily life that have meaning.
By empowering yourself, you will be better able to create meaningful dialogs.
You can do this… we are in this together!
To start your personal action list,
here are some concepts to consider.
- Be disciplined
- Practice rituals
- Be Responsible
- Be respectful
- Be honorable
- Ask respectful questions
- Listen more
- Discover commonality
And choose wisely between …danger and a point of change
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