These are the days

Sometimes, it’s better to keep your mouth shut then to put your foot in your mouth.

But it is always the right time to stand-up and speak out for the freedom and dignity of those who can’t defend themselves.

Here’s the thing: Those who seek power are looking to take away choices.

The key to equality is to find a way to give opportunities back to those who haven’t had it.

Sure, it’s inconvenient. Yeah, you might be standing alone. But there has never been a better time to seize the moment we have been given to spread a culture of respect. It’s a privilege to be part of such great work: These are the days you’ll remember.

Tribes

Seth Godin talks about two types of tribes:

First, the Beatles did not invent teenagers. They showed up to lead them.

Second, Nike invented long distance runners. Before Nike, long distance running wasn’t a thing. They defined the tribe: People like us, do and wear stuff like that.

What we have seen over the last decade is that average products for average people doesn’t work anymore. Take a normal bell curve and imagine that it has melted. The edges are bigger than they were before. And the top isn’t as big either. That’s where we are today: Sell toward a large number of different niches (the long tail) rather than focusing on a small number of hits.

There’s plenty of opportunity to embrace the weird and what’s different. The internet has opened up ways for anyone of us to connect.

Here’s the thing: Running around chasing everybody down to hear your pitch doesn’t work. We should be focused on building something that others want to follow. So we can connect. We are waiting for your contributions. You just need to show up. Day after day. Make it the obvious choice.

Fulfilled by abundance

Most of us that can read this no longer live in a world of scarcity.

There are more cars than licensed drivers.

More money is spent on storage units than going to the movies.

Polly LaBarre points out, “The United States spends more on trash bags than ninety other countries spend on everything. In other words, the receptacles of our waste cost more than all of the goods consumed by nearly half of the world’s nations.”

There are more people than ever before in the history of the world that are enjoying increased levels of standards in living. Abundance has freed millions from the struggle of survival.

But just as we have been liberated by prosperity, we cannot be fulfilled by it. Abundance is not enough.

Three billion people in the world today live on less than $3 a day.

The richest eight men in the world have as much money as the poorest half in the world.

Think about that for a minute.

(Note: I’m not saying these eight men don’t deserve their wealth or haven’t earned it. Let shed the label of good or bad for a moment. I’m merely pointing out the distribution of wealth.)

As the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow, those on the top (that means you and me) have to ask: Do we love what we have?

Unfortunately, we are the most in debt, the most obese, the most medicated and the most drugged up adult population ever.

But we can change that.

Once survival is taken care of, we can choose to do something that over half of the world doesn’t have an opportunity to do. We can choose to make a connection. We can choose to make a difference. We can choose to help someone. Not just a little, but a lot.

Tonight, many of us get to go home to a warm house and run clean water from our faucet. It’s a privilege to live in such luxury. It’s no longer a question if it’s possible to act; it’s whether we are going to decide to do so.

Jenny McCarthy is wrong

Vaccinations do not cause autism. Yet, there are a number of people who still believe that her claims are true.

(Perception is reality. Reality is perception.)

We live in a unique period in history, that the leading voice questioning the safety of vaccinations began her career in Playboy with no scientific background.

Anyone with a laptop and an internet connection can have a microphone. The problem is that it creates a lot of noise. Making it ever more difficult to sift the wheat from the tares.

Even with all the science and data, it’s very hard to change people’s minds once they are made up.

The floor no longer belongs to experts. We have to do better if we are going to build a culture we can all be proud of.

[Questioning what’s in a vaccination isn’t evil. It has led to many studies to look into the safety of vaccinations. In the case of McCarthy though, making bold claims with no scientific backing will cost lives. Still, most of us lack the courage to deal with the shame of being wrong. We double down and perpetuate the cycle of bad decision-making. It’s easier than ever before to protect our worldview. There is enough noise to defend it.]

It’s a choice

It’s a choice to try to make everything perfect.

It’s a choice to numb ourselves from the emotions and feelings of hurt and loss.

It’s a choice to see yourselves as a cog in the machine.

It’s a choice to think the decisions you make don’t matter.

Of course, it’s a choice.

The waves are going to keep coming. They are going to keep knocking us down. The choice is to lie there or to get up.

It’s a choice to lean in to the messy.

It’s a choice to embrace the tension, to not make it go away.

It’s a choice to throw away the map and learn to navigate with a compass.

It’s a choice to make a choice. To not give that power for someone else to make.

Over time, we find that the waves don’t stop coming. But that they appear to get smaller. Making it easier to get back up when life tries to knock us down.

Navigating a world of certainty

The trouble of losing your glasses is that the world appears out of focus.

The world is not really out of focus. We’re not seeing lines blur because they are actually blurry. No, it’s because our eyes have failed us. They have failed to see the world as it really is.

It turns out, even with all the information and data and connection available, most of us feel more uncertain about things now more than ever. And we have distracted ourselves causing us to be more desperate.

Adult cohorts today are more in debt, more obese, more drugged, and more medicated than ever before in history.

We are caught in the cycle of bad decision-making: One bad decision leads to another. Taking us further down a road we don’t want to go down. Because of the shame of being wrong, most of us would rather be off the hook rather than dealing with the situation.

Let’s be clear: People are not evil for being wrong. We all have a deep desire for clarity. But we cannot have clarity when we listen to the noise and the critics and Resistance.

To get unstuck and to see what is actually happening, we have to put aside the fact that we are afraid. Put aside the fact that there are distractions. For a moment, put on your glasses and figure out what is actually happening. No matter how hard we try, we have to see that there are no certainties in an uncertain world.

Unfortunately, many of us would rather pretend that everything is okay. But the popular choice of being comfortably numb makes us less likely to find the connection we are seeking to make.