How Will We, Americans, Overcome This Chaos? - Part I
Our Greatest Individual Power: A Collective Purpose
Reality Is Unwelcome
Everywhere you look, you see mass shooting, US life expectancy on the decline, an uncivilized society, political rudeness, the teen vaping epidemic, victims of fast-fashion and sex scandals in the midst of fake news and climate change.
This reality can no longer be dismissed by calling it negative or seeing the glass half empty - despite the year-end feel good stories.
This is the real reality. It’s overwhelming and distressing. We recall how a 20-year-old Gen-z summed it up when she said: “It’s hard to tell what’s important.”
Our Human Nature Is Vulnerable
In a time of uncertainty, we look for heroes but we also look for bad guys, anyone we can blame for our shortcomings, misery and fears. We feel better when we believe the enemy is “them.”
But fear doesn’t have to destroy us. Fear can be exhilarating.
When we understand how vulnerable we are and embrace it, it makes a huge difference. When we turn inward to generate a response, as individuals, we tap into our personal agency.
Individuals fostering and voicing their personal convictions is what democracy is all about.
A Man On the Moon
When America put the first man on the moon, it had an astonishing societal and cultural significance.
If you were old enough to witness this event, you undoubtedly recall your reaction: ‘“I remember feeling an almost physical thrill run through me.”
This technological achievement was much bigger than just Armstrong walking on the moon. The moon landing capped a tumultuous American decade - the Vietnam war, Kennedy's death, civil rights - and helped assert the country's global dominance in a moment of greatness that defined the American century.
It was a moment that brought everyone together beyond their gender, social and ethnic differences: ‘We stuck our heads out to stare at the moon – every household in the street was doing the same.’
It was a moment that defined how we, Americans, felt about our purpose and our impact on the world: ‘Somehow we thought landing on the moon would make the world a better place.’
It’s That Time Again
As expressed by The Guardian, “America faces an epic choice in the coming year, and the results will define the country for a generation...These are perilous times...Anger and cruelty disfigure public discourse and lying is commonplace. Truth is being chased away.”
We’ve never been here before.
We’ve never faced the existential threat of climate change.
We’ve never had the level of communication and knowledge that’s available.
And, we’ve never had young people taking leadership like Greta Thunberg.
Therefore, it’s time to regroup and fight back. Not against other people, because we are in the same boat, but fight our own fears.
The notion of activism has evolved from groups of hard-core fighters to powerful individuals consciously taking responsibility, standing up for what is right, and living it through their daily choices.
We humans are so in need of purpose and meaning that we don’t require certainty of outcome. But we do require a sense of possibility.
At AcornOak, we are not optimists. We are a possible-ists. So we ask a question.
What Possibility Will You Choose?
There is one thing that will bring us together and give us our ultimate individual power.
One thing that will unite our differences, our opposite views and stop the polarity madness.
A collective purpose is the answer.
America has always been at its best when innovating and leading change. Think Henry Ford and the assembly line, the Industrial Age, sea and aircraft for World War I and II, modernizing farming, Silicon Valley, etc.
It’s once again time to be progressive and lead. Think new, not old.
When we embrace a cause, something interesting happens to us. We start by losing our sense of self, we become free from our self-criticizing voice, and, as a result, our fears and limitations disappear.
The cause becomes a powerful surrender mechanism that unleashes our hidden abilities and capacities for the greater good. Whatever possibilities we decide to gather around will have an impact inside and outside of our country.
Our domestic purpose becomes a foreign purpose.
To put our minds as one, we invite you to consider two major and exciting movements where we are witnessing individuals thriving in a collective purpose and making waves.
- PART II -
To continue reading Part II, click here.