One Day or Day One: You Decide –A Maze or Amazing?

–Make the rest of your life the best of your life ...

We have a choice about how we take what happens to us in our life and whether or not we allow it to turn us. We can become consumed by hate and darkness, or we’re able to regain our humanity somehow, or come to terms with things and learn something about ourselves.

— Angelina Jolie

You might start your journey in the southwest United States in a dusty town called Why, Arizona. Heading cross-country would take you through Uncertain, Texas. Bearing northeast, you’d make a rest stop in Dismal, Tennessee. Ultimately, you’d reach your destination—Panic, Pennsylvania. It’s a bit more of a drive, but another six hours by car would take you from the town of Panic to the place known as Assurance, West Virginia. These are real places across the landscape of America, though not likely a trip you’d ever choose to take.

Much like our decade-plus journey to rediscover humanity at its best, the above trip follows a road less traveled, with a “maze” of an itinerary, taking us from uncertainty to assurance around every bend. Some folks have joined us,  grabbing the wheel and accelerating into a better world. Others have slammed on the brakes or veered off the road, not wishing to venture beyond the status quo. Along the way, we’ve learned a lot. We’ve learned that it’s not about cheering from the sidelines. It’s about each of us grabbing the wheel and doing what we can to navigate a better path as individuals and as a global community, effecting real change. We’ve learned that we all have to lift our eyes higher than our circumstances, higher than the trials and tribulations around us, looking up versus down and looking forward with hope. And most importantly, we’ve learned the importance of actually walking the talk, as best captured here by Carl Jung;

You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.

We’re Social Beings, and Isolation Changed Us

The pandemic loosened ties between people: Kids stopped going to school; their parents stopped going to work; parishioners stopped going to church; people stopped gathering, in general. Sociologists think all of this isolation shifted the way we behave. “We’re more likely to break rules when our bonds to society are weakened,” said Robert Sampson, a Harvard sociologist who studies social disorder “When we become untethered, we tend to prioritize our own private interests over those of others or the public.” The turn-of-the-20th-century scholar Émile Durkheim called this state anomie or a lack of social norms that leads to lawlessness. “We are moral beings to the extent that we are social beings,”

We’ve reached a proverbial “tipping point” where bad behavior, rudeness, disrespect, carelessness, rightfighting, and disorderly, unhinged, uncivilized conduct are fast becoming the acceptable social norm. Say the wrong word and our hypersensitivity triggers middle school behavior, tantrums, or physical violence.

What Now?

What on earth is happening? Are we all overwhelmed and stressed out? Why are we all teetering at our breaking point? Whether it be the tipping point or a breaking point, consider it the starting point from which we can CHOOSE to chart a new and better path … Forget rebuilding old bridges. Forget fixing what’s broken. We can do better together. It’s time to rise above it all and forge our own path. … A path where humans really do come first. Led by a  compass embracing the greater good of mankind and built upon a firm foundation of absolute values.  NEW bridges, supported by the eight pillars of joy, starting with the 4 pillars of the mind —perspective, humility, humor, and acceptance, coupled with the four pillars of the heart —forgiveness, gratitude, compassion, and generosity.

Forget the headlines and get off the sidelines. It’s not about me or you, it’s about US. It’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s time to open the door to MORE … More empathy, more compassion, more gratitude, more humility, more listening,  more constructive conversations, more purpose, more curiosity, more belonging,  more forgiveness, and more willingness to seek understanding and enlightenment. It’s time to rise above the narrow confines of our individual perspectives by recognizing that our humanity is bound together with each other. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Don’t wait for permission. Don’t wait for someone else to take the lead. Just grab the humanity baton and run with it, starting right here and right now. ⤵︎

In Search of Humanity: Time to Do More?

“The story of humanity is not a story of a few people who had huge, gigantic effects on the world. That’s only the story we hear, because it’s the easy story to tell. Caring for ourselves and other people is the only thing that has ever mattered to the future of our species.”

Hank Green

Let’s stop the insanity. We know better. We are better. We can do better together. And we can do more not someday or one day, but starting right now. It’s time to own it. It’s time to move beyond self-preservation, choosing instead the greater good. There are two ways to navigate your life. As if it’s a maze. Or as if it’s amazing. We invite you to join us by making today your amazing DAY ONE.


Dennis Pitocco
Dennis Pitocco
DENNIS is the Founder & Chief ReImaginator of 360° Nation, encompassing a wide range of multimedia enterprises, including BizCatalyst 360° —the award-winning global media digest; 360° Nation Studios —dedicated to reaching across the world in an effort to capture, produce, and deliver positive, uplifting messages via blockbuster global events, and; GoodWorks 360° —a pro-bono consulting foundation focused entirely on providing mission-critical advisory services to nonprofits worldwide. Collaborating with his Chief Inspiration Officer (and wife), Ali, everything they do is "for-good" vs. "for-profit". Their mission over the past decade-plus has been to rediscover humanity at its best, influencing and showcasing it every step of the way. Together, they do their very best to figure out what the world is trying to be —then using all their resources to help it to be better every day in every way. They understand and embrace the notion that it’s not about me or you; it’s about caring for the people we serve and more responsibly stewarding the precious resources in our care. And they believe it’s about showing up, being present, and intentionally giving our invaluable gifts of time, talent, and treasure "for good". Dennis is a contributing author to the Best-Selling Books ♦ Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational ChangeJourney Well, You Are More Than EnoughThe Four-Fold Formula For All Things Wellness: True Stories of the Heart, Spirit, Mind, and Body.

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  1. Very powerful and clear Dennis! And so helpful that you don’t just identify the problem but also offer steps and highlight our choices
    – go on lamenting the loss and bemoaning what has risen up OR
    ** start taking responsibility, leading and sharing with compassion and kindness, thinking clearly, and acting consciously!

    • Grateful for your support, Laura. There has never been a time in the history of humanity when there was a greater need to understand who we are and what we are capable of experiencing. Let’s all stop waiting for someone else to do something someday when we all have the ability to do more starting right now…

  2. Most people live for the dot rather than the line……the ‘dot’ = the few years we have on this earth; the ‘line’ = eternity. If you believe that there is nothing but the grave awaiting you, then by all means, eat, drink and be merry. But God has placed eternity in the heart of every one of us……deep down, even the devoutest of atheists knows that there is something beyond this life. We intrinsically want to do good, to live a life of purpose, one that results in something good that outlasts us, to make a mark on this world. Those are all good things. However, the Biblical reality is this – there is a Heaven and there is a Hell and none of our good works will earn our way into the former. According to our Creator (God), our good works (no matter how well-intentioned) amount to nothing more than ‘filthy rags’ when it comes to spending eternity in Heaven. Don’t get me wrong…..good works are just that – good, but they are no substitute for what Jesus did on that cross. Jesus is who He said He was – the Son of God. He came to earth, died for us so that we could be reunited with Him in Heaven one day…… Christ, we have this amazing opportunity to restore what was lost in the Garden of Eden. We, of course, have the free will to say ‘no’……true love always involves the ability to say ‘no’. God has no desire for mindless drones to follow Him. Jesus Himself said the He is the Way the Truth and the Life and that no one can come to the Father except by Him……that means there are not many roads that lead to Heaven, only One.
    Since his attempt to build the Tower of Babel, man has wanted to go his own way. Especially, I believe, in our amazingly blessed country, we have a strong tendency toward self-empowerment, an independnt spirit that shouts, “I got this”. In one word, that’s called pride. I like what Angelina and Carl and Hank have to say…..but if we don’t allow God into the equation, our best human efforts will not last beyond the grave; there are eternal consequences for our choice in this life… let me ask – who do you say Jesus is?

  3. What a insightful article my brother. Our actions or inactions are always our choices. All personal choices have consequences that can be weighed by positive or negative results in due time.

    God gave us the awesome gift of free will from the get-go. Sadly, our first parents used their free will to believe the lie that they could be like God. They fell from grace due to their selfish vainglory. Eden was lost and mankind has suffered ever thereafter due to the effects of sin that had entered the world.

    We are no different when we exercise our free will for our own selfish reasons. The simply solution to remedy our fallen nature in this fallen world is choose to love God and love our neighbor. Coram Deo!

    Keep on keeping on my dear brother I got your 180.

  4. Great article. I truly believe we may be headed to a starting point. I am disappointed by the hateful diatribe by both sides of the aisle. We have lost our way as a country. There is no respect for the rule of law, no respect for our fellow human beings. I know we are better than that. Being a 75 year old Marine Corps, Vietnam Veteran and a 25 year retired Syracuse Police Officer, I have been able to see how we have evolved as a country going way back to the turbulent times of the 60’s. Unfortunately I have seen the worse of the worse and yet there were those moments when I felt that I made a difference in someone’s life by showing compassion not only to the victim’s of crime or tragedy, but also by trying to understand those that ran afoul of the law. My hope is that all is not lost and that going forward we can go back to being respectful to each other and really make this world a better place for us.

  5. Fascinating post, Dennis.
    I believe that it is the warmth that radiates from an open and caring heart that generates the currents of love of our humanity. Love breaks the cold circle of self-interest and allows the joy of life to flow and circulate freely through our human experience. Loving one another is one of the most profound scientific teachings ever given to humanity, since all evolution proceeds on the strength of Love. This is not the sentimental love of adolescent fantasy, but the deep love of an open and compassionate heart that embraces the needs of others and tries to build right relationships with all aspects of life, both visible and invisible. It is the principle of goodwill in action.
    If we want to start an improvement, if we want to achieve the goal of not only peaceful coexistence but also of growth, we must focus our attention and our care on what we have in common. Only in this way can we be part of a better world.

    • Love your sentiment here, my friend, Aldo, and your closing sentence captures so much – “If we want to start an improvement, if we want to achieve the goal of not only peaceful coexistence but also of growth, we must focus our attention and our care on what we have in common. Only in this way can we be part of a better world.

    • Grateful for your kind words, Jo Anne. Indeed, we need to adjust our compasses and return to fundamental acts of caring and compassion. As Leo Buscaglia said so well: “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word… all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” …

  6. Whether it be the tipping point or a breaking point, consider it the starting point from which we can CHOOSE to chart a new and better path by Dennis Pitocco

    What a great post my friend. Indeed, the choice is ours whether to break or to rearrange into better selves.

    I like the discussion in your ending paragraph how we can rearrange together and make the world better for all of us.

    All shall appear winners and none one loser