Giving our best.
Wouldn’t it be great if the news we see every day was about that? Or even about a more balanced view of our best along with our worst?
What would be even greater is if we were driven to click on the good news items first and tag back to the ‘disaster’ items later – to wish peace and healing to the victims, and justice and a clue to the perpetrators. But that’s not how we are and that’s not how we’ve been conditioned to be.
I’m talking about our insatiable desire to click on our dark side and the dark side of others. From our choices of entertainment (video games, tv and movies) to even the posts from ourselves and others that indulge, even glorify antisocial attitudes and behaviors. We see and accept the dark side of us all until it crosses over into reality. Then it’s a “Where did that come from and how do we stop it?” like nobody knew it was inevitable for our kids or someone else’s to take video games to a whole other level of engagement. Or viewing the same adult-themed ‘bad ass’ entertainment we watch, award and glorify, they decide to become bad asses too because their actions aren’t real until the consequences show up. By then it’s too late to choose becoming someone else.
Unfiltered content devoid of social and societal context and connection is what feeds our news channels. Also, allowing certain categories of beings to be devalued or dehumanized whether “just in conversation” or acting out against them in a personal, confrontational and criminal way.
Our powers of discernment and ability to initiate change by merely “liking” posts and viewing YouTube videos to viral levels, then calling it good by sharing content is not enough. For too many of us this is where our social and societal engagement ends, with these small dead end pockets of reactive online responses. And we need to quit giving place to our dark sides. Unrepentant bad – whether real or imaginary – still hurts us as a society because we are each other’s filter and accountability partner within the community.
This is especially true in parenting. And like it, agree with it or not, all adults are parents by virtue of the example we set within our communities. We need to understand that what we indulge for ourselves in terms of lifestyle and entertainment choices, we are silently endorsing in the eyes of children and adolescents. That “Do as I say and not as I do” model has never worked from the dawn of time and the first family till now. And relying on each of us to know when to say ‘when’ has not proven to be a successful way to go either.
What has hurt us even more is passing on to the next generation our tacit acceptance of the power being over us rather than recognizing and acting upon the power being in and of us.
Witness the recent non-turnout of voters for midterm elections when those we previously voted to represent us in Congress did anything but that. How do we rescue ourselves when we won’t even work to reclaim the power of the people by voting? And why would we allow someone to keep the job of representing us and advocating for our economic well-being after they’ve done nothing of the kind for two full years? How many of us would have a job with that kind of performance record, much less have our jobs continue?
So, giving our best is more than just taking care of our own business, more than managing our Facebook account. It’s looking out for our neighbors and all who call America home. It’s not about going pro or con regarding the immigration front but perhaps taking note that this may be our karma coming back at us after these past two centuries of seizing what wasn’t ours to take in the first place.
So, let’s get over the border issues and accept our current status. Let’s get busy and give our best to our community and our country. Anticipating or causing yet another societal train wreck through stubborn attitude and lack of cooperation does not a better country or world make.
It’s not about borders, it’s about inclusion – that’s all of us standing in the light of change, ready and willing and strong.
As we prepare to enter into 2015, let’s dust off our best sense of self and ‘bring it’ to whatever we need or desire to change.
It’s time to be a united country again.