We are at an interesting, some say, critical crossroads in our history. The battle currently underway between the left and the right over whose philosophy will shape the next chapter in American history is heating up dramatically. Some suggest that what is at stake is democracy itself and a way of life that the majority of our citizens have come to accept as a part of our heritage. This way of life has become a beacon of hope for much of the world as to what is possible when human freedom, ingenuity and passion combine.
As this battle rages on and impacts more and more of us - economically, politically, and socially- there are those who are calling for us to go out into the streets to protest and demonstrate our solidarity behind those who are trying to protect our rights and prevent the few from solidifying their control over the many.
From my perspective there is more than enough to justify these concerns. The well-being of our democracy and the safety and security of our way of life is at stake and unless we heed the call to action and participate in determining our future, our future will be determined for us by people who appear, at least from my perspective, to have lost their moral and ethical compass; by people whose primary desire appears to be to shape this once great nation into a kind of private protectorate in which they can exercise their own biases, enforce their limited beliefs and continue to accumulate more and more political power and a greater and more disproportionate share of the financial wealth.
Not a pretty picture, at least from my point of view. However, what is also clear to me is that if those of us who want democracy to continue and who do not want to live under the rule of the few, do not turn in the right direction first – inward to listen and respond to the wisdom that issues from our hearts and that speaks the language of greater consciousness – then all of the protesting in the world will accomplish little. Yes, if we are to be successful in returning this nation to a path of sanity and stability I believe we must remember that life is an inside out job and our first responsibility is to identify and clear up those places within us that are bounded by limited beliefs and trapped in habituated behaviors.
Do this work of raising our consciousness; have the courage to go into those places inside us where prejudice hides, where fear of the other and the unknown is present; heal the emotional wounds that blind us and prevent us from expressing our compassion, our empathy and, above all, remember that each and every one of us who is part of this thing called humanity are in this together and then watch what happens.
It may take a little more time and provide those who are intent on re-writing our Constitution and subverting the will of our founders more opportunity to advance their intent, but in the end, if we do this right we will be successful.
Real power must be expressed from the inside out, then and only then can it reflect integrity and emotional as well as intellectual honesty. Yes, when power is guided by the inner wisdom that speaks from the heart and not just the head; when it is aligned with decency, calls for collaboration, speaks with compassion and issues from love it will, in the end, prove to be much stronger and more durable than any of the far more superficial and transient forms of power being advanced by those who would enslave us.
George Cappannelli is co-Founder of AgeNation and President and CEO of The Information and Training Company. He is an world-class consultant, author and expert on change. Over the last 25 years he has worked with hundreds of leading organizations, the people who run them and hundreds of thousands of individuals in the public sector. He books include: Say Yes To Change, Authenticity, It’s About Time, I Dream of A New America and the soon to be released, Do Not Go Quietly, A Guide To Conscious Living and Wise Aging in the 21st Century. For more information on consulting and coaching services visit www.agenation.com/consulting or www.georgecappannelli.com.
Category: Civic Engagement