There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.
~ Denis Waitley
Being human is given. But keeping our humanity is a choice. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about US. It’s about serving others and finding ourselves along the way. It’s about stepping back before we charge forward with whatever comes next —taking a momentary breath to stop, reset, and focus on how we can experience a more positively connected universe. Historians will look back on this pause and this pivot with a critical perspective.
Success for humanity will be linked to whether we were able to be more empathetic, more effective communicators and more willing collaborators. How we choose to operate and cooperate.
Success will be measured by whether we have done significantly more good and a whole lot less harm to the world we depend on and each other. Perhaps it all begins and ends by reclaiming our humanity?
Permission Granted | Notice Given
The world didn’t give you permission to be here—but you didn’t ask for permission, either. Some of us are still asking for permission when we should just be giving the world notice. Notice that we are at a crossroads of a whole new chapter for humanity. A marker in history where the opportunity exists to come together and reimagine how to to build a better future. An opportunity to be a part of creating a brighter future for those who follow, where the connected human experience is well-balanced between the best of humanity combined with the power of technology and science to transform how we live for the better.
It’s Time for More
We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity; more than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
Right now, it feels like a moment in history where choices made will have a ripple effect for generations to come. Whether you’re a partner, friend, parent, leader, teacher, politician, or a combination thereof, we are called to show up and do more good to help fuel a better version of the world we live in. At the same time, we need to ask for more from each person in our lives and in our relationships to make the world spin more smoothly. We need more from everyone who leads and is in a position of influence. Understand that it’s not about you, it’s about caring for the people you serve and more responsibly stewarding the precious resources in our care.
More Accountability Personal accountability is taking ownership and embracing the belief that you are fully responsible for the consequences resulting from your choices, behaviors, and actions. It’s a mindset and an expression of integrity. Accountability is not a one-time, sometimes thing; it’s an all-time thing.
More Action Act now, and act as if what you are doing makes a difference – because it does. The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you can alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change the world. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” –St. Francis of Assisi.
More Activism A connected, purpose-driven community on a mission focused on positive change, no matter the issue, has proven time and time again that when passionate people work together they bring back the light where darkness temporarily has taken hold, and together they bend the arc of history back toward the good.
More Appreciation The good news is that we have complete control over our appreciation. No budget limitations or excuses here – there are literally thousands of ways to demonstrate our appreciation at little or no cost. Find ways that are natural and comfortable for you to demonstrate your appreciation since your authenticity is the key.
More Authenticity To be authentic, we must cultivate the courage to be imperfect —and vulnerable. We must believe that we are worthy of love and acceptance, just as we are. We must be open, honest, and direct in the here-and-now.
More Citizenship As citizens, history just doesn’t happen to us, we make history together. Our shared values guide our actions and our choices, and they, in turn, shape our character, which in turn shapes history. It’s time to dust off our founding principles and celebrate, elevate or refresh them. Imagine if we all use the power of our voice by voting and the value of our time volunteering devoted to a cause for good.
More Commitment What dream or goal have you not committed to wholeheartedly? Whether it’s to write a book, start a blog, become an entrepreneur, or travel, now is the time to start thinking about how to make this goal a priority in your life and truly commit to making it happen. Try this: Take a moment now to […]
More Compassion As we are bombarded with the sensationalism of every slight eventuality, the spew of pontificating pundits, and the celebration of violence as entertainment, we must show and demonstrate more care and concern for the suffering and misfortunes of those who are impacted by crisis. True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain but also being moved to help relieve it.
More Connection Somehow we’ve come to equate success with not needing anyone. Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand, but we’re very reluctant to reach out for help when we need it ourselves. It’s as if we’ve divided the world into “those who offer help” and “those who need help.” The truth is that we are both. We need like-minded people around us who are also trying to honor our values. Connection and community give us the support to face challenges.
More Courage As humans, we make meaning out of our experiences by telling stories to ourselves about how the world operates. But here’s the important part: Those stories might not be objectively true. They are more like your personal lens on life, coloring your experiences just as if you were wearing sunglasses. Your stories have everything to do with how you see yourself and the world—whether you’re a victim or a survivor, whether an experience is dangerous or an opportunity, and whether you have the capacity to develop more courage or you are “just not very brave.”
More Curiosity The impulse to seek new information and experiences and explore novel possibilities is a basic human attribute. When our curiosity is triggered, we think more deeply and rationally about decisions and come up with more creative solutions. Curiosity encourages members of a group to put themselves in one another’s shoes and take an interest in one another’s ideas rather than focus only on their own perspective. By asking questions and genuinely listening to the responses, we cultivate trust and closer relationships. Let’s approach the unknown by replacing judgment with inquisitiveness.
More Dignity Everyone is born with it. Dignity is our inherent value and worth as human beings. Our shared desire for dignity transcends all of our differences, putting our common human identity above all else. The glue that holds all of our relationships together is the mutual recognition of the desire to be seen, heard, listened to, and treated fairly; to be recognized, understood, and to feel safe in the world. Dignity has the potential to change the world, but only if we spread its profound message — that we are born invaluable, priceless, and irreplaceable.
What an incredibly rich post, Dennis! Thank you so much for sharing your insights and wisdom with us. I could feel your enthusiasm. 🙏🏻
I’ve read this once before but somehow I felt like I was reading it for the first time. I think I’m growing as an individual here and my perspective seems to get wider as I go. I think my fav thing to do is wear someone else’s shoes. The reimagining is taking place within me and these a sense of freedom with that. I was a victim so I can relate to that shower now I’m a survivor finding my voice here on Bizcatalyst360. I couldn’t feel ore at home. Much love and respect, Eva Marie Ann
Dennis I love this. At one time I thought writing was about imagination but now I would suggest that we should drive the backroads, walk down a forest path and find that abandoned farm. For the story to be authentic you should touch the weathered door, sit quietly in the old rocking chair and listen. Those that are abandoned will be like whispers, telling us to write their stories. Perhaps true writing comes when we experience these things not depending on imagination.
Great article Dennis. If we would all do a little more and be more sensitive to others needs we would all be living in a better world. We need positive leaders. If you tend to your garden it will grow and flourish. We are all deserving of dignity and respect. Being compassionate and real is the way to go. Thanks for all this wonderful information. Bringing it to awareness is key.
Thank you Eva Marie … It’s amazing how little effort can do so much for so many.
A wonderful call to action, Dennis! Imagine what could happen if we all did just a little MORE!
Thanks, Heather. Amazing just how little can do so much for so many …
Spot on, Dennis (and et al.)
There is no boundary to our individual impact at every moment that is not self-imposed. In the world of Substance Use Disorder (old term = addiction), is a diagram entitled “The triangle of self-obsession”.
Resentment is the first ‘corner’ and focuses on the past; anger the second, focused on the present; and fear the third, focused on the future. If we’re rigorously honest with the third, we’re not afraid of what might happen, but of how it will make us feel. If that makes sense (and lots of people smarter than I, like Brené Brown and Glennon Doyle, seem to think so), we have an opportunity to reprogram that fear every day by each interaction we have, every one. Like the blade of grass that splits the concrete, we can break open hearts and spirit.
Thank you for adding such value here, Mac. Wisdom captured and wisdom shared, indeed.
Dennis this is a great article. It provokes thought. I would like to add that we also need to be able to pray to God to give us the strength to endure all that has happened. I believe that religion no matter who you pray to can help us as well. I know that God holds us in the palms of his hands and although we may have some doubts I know that he is listening to our prayers.
Thanks, Tom – be assured that prayer prevails on this end for the greater good of mankind, my friend.
Hi Dennis. This manifesto is worth every minute spent reading. If I may, I would put one more “brick” on our road we craft together. It is More Reasoning.
For many things to do the right way and make the right decisions, we must think about them rationally. For me, critical thinking is very important in everyone’s life. Particularly in today’s world with too much information about any issue when many people fail in understanding and effectively making decisions about that issue, i.e. to separate facts from fiction and rumour from deliberate efforts to mislead.
To find the right balance between thinking and feeling is challenging, to say the least.
Thank you Lada for your support and indeed, for your suggestion (we’ll be adding it to our manifesto). We started out with just 7 items back in June, and as you can see, it’s grown exponentially thanks to feedback such as your.
UPDATE – with sincere appreciation for your thoughtful feedback, Lada, we’ve now added MORE REASONING to our “Do More” list!
Thank you, Dennis. Your “Do More” list is the inspiration for all of us.
And thank you for the inspiration to do even more, Lada!
Dennis ~ A very inspiring post.
The thought that leapt out to me is that for humanity to be “rediscovered” … HEARTS must be TRANSFORMED.
“As I began to love myself, I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM-OF-THE-HEART.”~Charlie Chaplin
Changing the world means changing people
Changing people means changing human-hearts
“It’s not about changing the world, although that’s what we seem to rally around. Rather, it’s about changing ourselves for that is the seed from which changing the world sprouts.” ― Craig D. Lounsbrough
The “choice IS ours”
Each day … each moment … we get to choose
… which way we will go
… which thoughts we will think
… which words we will speak
… the actions we will take
… the habits we will form
… the character which will define us
… the things we will love
Grateful for your kind words here, Fay. Love your prose!
Thank you for your wisdom Dennis.
And for your encouragement/affirming my “prose ;~)
Our paths will cross often … as thoughts we compose.
Thank you, Dennis, for your ‘profoundly insightful’ message.
I personally feel what you wrote about being PURPOSEFUL embodies everything else. Living purposefully is effortless living, which brings meaning and joy to everything we do and gives a greater sense of fulfillment upon the completion of each task.
Leo Rosten, “The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to MATTER, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you lived at all.”
Shannon L Adler, “Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”
I also like what R. J. Andersson once said, “ Find a purpose to serve, not a lifestyle to live.”
Love your thoughts here, Jonathan – and particularly this quote that captures so much in so few words: “The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to MATTER, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you lived at all.” … Thank you!
Thank you, Dennis. I was just re-reading your most insightful post and sharing some of its contents with a group involved with the Covid-19 crisis.
Humankind is going through a new and unprecedented experience with the rapidly spreading Covid-19 pandemic and there is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic will change the face of human society, but it forces us to ask some important questions. The problem does not lie in Covid-19 alone but rather in the fear, panic and terror caused by the spread of this virus, and amplified by the media, which has been presenting the situation as if it were the end of the world. The current crisis is not of the pandemic alone. Rather, it is of the far-reaching consequences on human behavior.
This is where ALL your insights listed in your article comes into full and direct focus and what each of us can do with the time “entrusted” to us.
May we each be empowered to do whatever good we can, while we still can.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Live simply so that others may simply live.”
Living a simple life brings peace of mind and removes some of the distractions of our life’s journey and creates a sense of freedom from the burden of unnecessary possessions.
Thank you, my friend. You said it so well here: “This is where ALL your insights listed in your article comes into full and direct focus and what each of us can do with the time “entrusted” to us.” Let us all spend more time simply “doing more” as the ripple effect will be powerful…
I love your quotes Jonathan. My favorite is Shannon’s which speaks to purpose over lifestyle (which you also provide a good quote for)
“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.” ~ Shannon Adler
Thank you, Fay. During these difficult times, Shannon Adler has encouraged us to indeed be a “Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”
This is the least we can be to others, for in helping heal others, we find the balm to heal ourselves.
I love your quotes Jonathan. My favorite is Shannon’s which speaks to purpose over lifestyle (which you also provide a good quote for)
“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.” ~ Shannon Adler
With sincere thanks to Jeff Ikler for the inspiration, our “Do More” List now includes MORE Curiosity.
YOUR words were the inspiration, Dennis. Thank you.
This is a very inspiring article, Dennis & Team! Humanity 2.0 or 4.0 is what we need – an expanded potential that looks at the supply chain of humanity’s actions. There is always a reaction to action and many people are unaware of how the ripple effect spreads. Your network is a wonderful example of hope.
I agree with all the incredible comments here – this is an amazing manifesto. But humans need a framework and incentives to move in the right direction. This environment is a perfect example. It’s easy to be conscious etc. when surrounded with the kind of people we have here. The bigger problem is how to create this supportive/encouraging/inspiring environment everywhere – how to create the platforms for systematic change where we can measure progress on a daily and even hourly basis. That’s what all this is heading toward … we need to learn more about the system we live in , human nature (our ego) – we need to understand how all these things work and how to hack the system so we can accelerate our development in the right direction.
Thank you for your kind words here, Josia, and for your broader wisdom shared. As we’ve discussed, we need more voices beyond the amazing “conscious community” of like-minded people gathered here. Love your notion of “hacking the system” to accelerate development in the right direction. It’s going to take some bold & brave moves to effect change “for good”. And we’re grateful to have you and your extraordinary wisdom of experience by our side each step of the way.
Dennis, I have just spent the last 27 minutes reading your perfectly articulated article whose message is a powerful proverb for our day and every well supported response. I was going to write a lengthy agreement to, “At the same time, we need to ask for more from each person in our lives and in our relationships to make the world spin more smoothly. We need more from everyone who leads and is in a position of influence.” I can’t think of another point to make or words to say that haven’t already been proclaimed by the numerous comments already for the reading and pondering. Let me just say that the most powerful words in this thread are, “more walkin’, less talkin'”. Let’s do that.
Amen, Jane… And I’m grateful that you’re walkin’alongside us every step of the way.
I’m not sure where to start here other than this piece is exceptional and provides a solid foundation for sure. These things you talk about, Dennis are so critical and the why’s of so much of what many people do. But there is space in our world and our everyday teachings to learn more and to expand our thinking. It is with this that we can take more gradual steps to embrace humanity more lovingly and compassionately.
You have provided a runway from which we can take off, and one upon which to land also. Thank you for providing your insight and for causing me to stop, think, and reassess. Some day’s I feel like a wanderer, unsure of where to go or what to do next in these uncertain times. However, this helps. Thank you for being you, Dennis.
Grateful for your thoughts here, Laura. This article came to fruition during our 10-day sabbatical (a wonderful opportunity to step back, smell the roses, recharge, and quite frankly, rethink our approach to all that we do). While I began by keeping a journal of our thoughts, it ultimately morphed into this “road map” as such. Perhaps a case of good karma, but it unintentionally intersected with all the “rage & rhetoric” over the George Floyd incident and has created a wonderful groundswell of support for simply stepping up and “doing more” … In other words, less talkin’/more walkin’…
I love this list Dennis.
I especially like the self respect definition that begins with each of us first. Ourselves. We can’t influence anyone if we don’t show ourselves as worthy of imitating or at least listening to.
I wrote as soon as this came out at LinkedIn but I wanted to say a few things here too in short: what a comprehensive list of how we need to show up in this world and how important it is that we take this forced opportunity given to us to better our world. I am anxious to see what good will come out of it with all of our efforts.Yes I expect more from myself. It is no time to complacent. We owe it to our humanity and the next generations too. Thank you for this very inspirational article. It is so needed now.
“We owe it” indeed, Brooke – grateful that you are lockstep with us in this journey. Someone wiser than I said not long ago; “A culture of personality cannot be sustained as it’s broken at the point of the soul. So divided by the imposter syndrome, anxiety, addiction, mental, emotional illness, loneliness, suicide, fear of not being enough, poisonous righteousness, the victim mindset, and hoarding, you hope many people finally begin to break free and realize that life is about cultivating core values of courage, honesty, humility, integrity, freedom, compassion, kindness, wholehearted empowerment.” … We need to individually and collectively do MORE. And we need to start doing MORE yesterday…
The opposite of me? Why … ‘We’
Also … Ruskoff a couple of days ago …
In the Industrial Age, as mechanical clocks dictated human time and factory machines outpaced human workers, we began to think of ourselves in very mechanical terms. We described ourselves as living in a “clockwork universe,” in which the human body was one of the machines. Our language slowly became invested with mechanical metaphors: We needed to grease the wheels, crank up the business, dig deeper, or turn a company into a well-oiled machine. Even everyday phrases, such as “fueling up” for eating lunch or “he has a screw loose” for thinking illogically, conveyed the acceptance of humans as mechanical devices.
Well said and indeed, well-chronicled, John – thanks for helping make the case, as it’s time to ditch the “mechanics” and return to #humansfirst ..
First of all, we should ask to ourselves if, for us, a better world is place where it is not required to think, nor improve our social condition, where the seasons, ages and generations pass slowly and equal, with some naive fun (or obligation) to applaud every time someone sketches a speech. Or the one in which one can nourish ideals, even utopian, aspire to a legitimate coexistence, between equals, jeopardizing our peace and that of our families, aware that the social chaos, if mismanaged, can even lead to a system worse than the last. Personally, I think that, if we are men and women who cannot give up their dignity, the answer is, despite everything, the second.
After this indispensable premise, I believe all of us (at family, school, workplace) can committ building the conditions for a better world, which I would like to sum up synthetically here:
Respecting not only oneself but all that we have around.
Committing to capture and enhance the best part of everything
Developing its own personalities, pursuing their own ideas but comparing also them with those of others.
The transmission of knowledge is an indispensable condition of human progress and today’s technologies allow us to acquire and extend it in quantities that we never imagined, as long as we make a proper and moderate use of these tools.
Have the mind always in the future, to prepare a better one for the new generations
Facing every situation with humility and without preconceptions. It is right to fight because the will of citizens is respected in the institutional field, but for this purpose it is permissible only use democratic means to ensure that the government bodies are actually representative of the popular will.
Not letting one be overcome by fatalism and resignation.
Engage in activities that make it possible for an increasing number of men and women, of any age, race, religion, color, health, can develop their personality in harmony, being realized according to their aspirations and potential.
Acting on own inner need and not to expect rewards from the outside. This is that will make us deal with confidence any negative reactions from the existing system.
Do not think of success as an individual matter, but collective. Individual well-being cannot be separated from the collective well-being.
A great commentary here, Aldo – thank you! Seems to us that your final sentence says it all so very well “Do not think of success as an individual matter, but collective. Individual well-being cannot be separated from the collective well-being.”
Aldo ~ Your rich comments made me ask:
What is a “better world” …
What and-or Who is Source & Standard of “better”
You mention “Utopian ideals” …
I am always taken back to “The Giver” ~ by Lois Lowry
… in this man-created “utopia” there was no God
… the children were schooled in “sameness” (which is the equivalent of political correctness)
In the Giver their “ideal” of perfection … was based on deception
“Utopian projects usually end disastrously.” ~ Augustine
Dennis, this article goes without saying much more. In these chaotic times of uncertainty change for the good is imperative. I was thinking as I was reading the piece that (as my crazy mind is sometimes), too bad we couldn’t shake this up in a bottle of milk and feed it to the infants as they grow. Can you imagine what this world would be like if every human being carried in its DNA all that is good, kind, and loving the listed ingredients in your post while growing and contributing to society, would do for this world we live in? I can only imagine.
Well said Lynn – thank you. It’s amazing just how much weight could be moved with all of us pulling together – and in the same direction.
Spot on, brother. One of the frames that seems to work for this interesting time is: What can we remove to make room for better? If a bucket is already full and you pour more water in, even if it’s really wonderful water, stuff is going to overflow and soak away, and there’s no way to control which disappears. So we can consciously make room by choosing to bail what’s outmoded, cruel, narrow and harmful. Otherwise, we may throw out the baby, right?
Be good. And well.
Great question posed, Mac. Time to shake loose of the old along with the insanity of doing the same thing and getting the same result in favor of simply doing more, doing better, and doing good…
Thank you so much, Dennis, for this clear and compelling, meaningful description of what’s possible for humanity, for our lives today and in the future. I especially resonated with compassion, empathy, and emotional intelligence because for years many people have been trained to suppress emotion, but then this sometimes comes out sideways in cruel behavior. Teaching ourselves ways to resolve and safely “discharge” strong emotions -all of them-seeing emotions as separate from behaviors—all emotions welcomed, “You can be angry and bite this washcloth-but you cannot bite your sister.” (Parent redirecting a child) “You can feel angry, but you cannot beat the crap out of your wife.” (a grown up example) When we get up underneath all the unexpressed and unresolved traumas, and hurts in people’s hearts and bodies and provide safe pathways for discharge/expression, we’ll have more opportunities to hold quieter space and compassion for one another. What a challenge to learn, grow or create when our souls or bodies are starving for tenderness and our hearts/bodies/nervous systems are filled with terror/rage/freeze. We will know and fully experience the entire range of human emotion (not just grief, anger, and fear) and discover the connection to the deep well of love that exists inside of every one of us. Can we feel the deep regret for the ways we’ve hurt others, make amends, and choose an entirely different, more productive, useful response in our interactions going forward? May meditation or taking time for quiet and mindfulness become practices that allow our brains to rewire towards self-awareness, emotional regulation, and conscious/thoughtful deeds for the highest good of all. From these place of conscious connection (and many others!), we can continue to grow, learn, and live together.
Love your deep insights here, Laura, as they form a great analogy of why we must begin to walk the “do more” talk together. There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. … It’s time for us to be the candle that lights the way forward. …
Thank you for this, Dennis. I was text chatting with life long friends in Minneapolis last night. We ended up focusing on the strength, wisdom and courage of our children in situations like this. Each of us saw in our children something that gives us hope that the future will be better… for all.
God Bless the “innocence” of the children, Ric –as their strength & wisdom can serve as a ray of sunshine over the course of so many cloudy days…
Stimulating read Dennis! All very true!
Our young minds and possibly lips questioned the acts of our births.. how many times does a child say “I didn’t ask to be born”? I recall saying many times to my parents when I questioned things I thought not fair. These crucial moments were responded with various responses, depending on the mindset at the time and perhaps just the timing of such a profound question. Once we start asking this we start to see our link in the human chain. It takes great dedication to see how your link holds and why it matters. Not everyone is aware, not all are tuned in.
It all starts with your own link in the chain of humanity. There are links that last forever and some that lose their clasp, some shine more than others, some have a crucial role in holding a jewel. No matter where you are on that chain, if you break, it all falls apart…we are here to help, repair and keep that chain together. One link at a time. It can be fixed. When we can see our part in the overall structure, we find a sense of value in our part and in the parts all together. The pride in this dignity from day one needs to be asserted, distributed and cultivated.
We all are a part. Just my thoughts here. I am truly invigorated with the enthusiasm and need for unification here. Thank you so much for this Dennis!
Now we must shake the pebbles from our shoes and get to life’s work!
One link at a time indeed, Paula. We join you in shaking the pebbles from our shoes and “walking the (do more) talk” together…
Dennis, your message is clear, compelling and timely. The bricks you define are a beautiful collection that draws a picture of the possibility I hold for the world as well. Thank you for being all of those things! Vicki
Grateful for your kind words, Vicki. Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. We choose Hope …
I cannot agree with you more! Precisely why Trevor and I do the things we do….to be that shining light, to be the example, to be the hand that lifts up. Change is imperative if we are to see the world become united and the foundation sealed with all you have said. I believe it can be done, just will take a lot of perseverance, strength and the masses shifting to this way of being. Also, to teach and educate the difference between being manipulated to follow, and discerning what is true/real in order to make conscious and informed decisions. There is so much that needs to be done….one step at a time.
Also, I am seeing more people creating opportunities to bring what you have shared into the workplace. Several of which I am becoming involved with. If feels good to be able to lead others and developed a network and web of like minded individuals who truly want this change and are willing to do whatever it takes to help make it happen. Cheers!
Indeed Eileen – together you and Trevor are precisely the “beacons of hope” that we need so many more of. You walk the talk and embrace the spirit behind the journey we have undertaken in our quest for rediscovering humanity at its very best – one step at a time…