Today is selection day. Mostly a binary choice, A or B.
Binary choice can be conflicting and contentious. By nature, it is polarizing; dark-light, good-evil, hot-cold.
Our everyday choices, the ones we make that define our lives, the way we live, are much more plentiful, fluid, and complex. Our daily, often momentary choices are more grey than black or white, warm and cool rather than hot-cold, and more purple than red-blue.
The choice I am totally empowered to make each day and every moment – More good than evil. This is the phenomenal privilege graced to me in the complexity and fluidity of everyday life.
My choices aren’t reliant on institutional rhetoric. I choose people over politics and relationships over institutions. I choose creativity over control. I choose how I see you. How I treat you. My attitude. My beliefs. I honor your choices, agree, or disagree. What a great freedom. What a responsibility.
If I should choose to coerce you, then I am choosing to oppress you. If I hate your choice – I hate having choice itself. In such, my choice would be binary – me or you. It would be judgmental, right-wrong. It would be controlling. It would be ridiculous in my view, so I choose not to succumb to this external pressure, this limiting divide. I choose you – I choose choice.
Today is the eleventh election I have the right, the choice to participate in. This was a hard-fought right for many throughout history. When our first president was elected, only 6% of the population could vote. 1870, the 15th amendment granted rights – but not access to African American men. 1920, the 19th amendment added women. Seriously? – just 100 years ago! Prior to, during, and in many cases still, the institution that “serves” the people has treated PEOPLE horrifically. The institution exists for the institution. As racial and gender groups have fought for equality, rights, and choice to participate, the right of representation, the fight was people against the institution, and the close-minded, myopathy of limiting beliefs pitted people against people – and the institution remained relatively unscathed. Divide and conquer – it won.
The question for me; why are we still allowing the institution to divide us? Yes, again, almost is if cliché, good old Einstein nailed it, “We cannot solve problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
In “BELIEVERSHIP,” I write:
Today, the value chain has shifted, but the beliefs and structures have been slow to respond. The barrier is our quixotic view on leadership.
There is much to be done on this front, with big challenges Ahead…We must focus on growing capacity and prepare to adapt more rapidly than any other time in history. Change will happen with focus on Humans not more [institutions]. When structures need to change, the current benefactors of the old structures are most resistant. To lead change, they must change first. Most institutions are ill-equipped to adopt new models and remain in denial.
Love is the first barrier, the first gate to pass through. It is an inside job and a shift from within, a confident pursuit of that intuitive urging. It will not, it cannot, be impressed upon us from the outside. We must shed the false constraints, along with the battered voice of limiting beliefs and failed wills of the past.
Do we believe in what we are doing? Do we understand it? Are we giving it everything, growing personally and helping the other person succeed? Do we have a sense that it all adds up, that we are vital to the whole, and do we take responsibility? It takes divergent, creative thinking to bust through the status quo. Making a positive impact with creative thinking requires great awareness, and great awareness requires constant attention. Conditions are deep and fluid. Self-check on your beliefs, your energy, and the accountability of your actions.
We face a cultural disconnect between what is expressed and what is experienced.
There have been 6 presidents elected in the 11 elections I have voted. None of them changed anything significantly. Every four years, they raised the temperature of hate and divide, abused our conscience, and pummeled us with diversion – and largely stayed the institutional course.
So today, I am once again reminded of the grace afforded to me under this institutional blunder, Choice! And I choose you. I choose people. I choose love.
Vote, and make that binary selection today. And then smile at the person next to you. Exercise your real choice.