“The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.” ~ Brené Brown
…know better, and must do better.
With the 2016 U.S. presidential election behind us, many are still questioning how a bigoted sexist (allegedly) even made it this far. How, they wonder, did We the People allow this to happen?
This is a question which requires a bit of soul searching on the part of every person within the collective—whether or not you voted for him, and whether or not you live in the United States.
There are people who believe that who we choose as chief representative of We the People, says a lot about who we are, or who we believe we’re supposed to be as a country. Donald Trump is not his orange hair or skin, but he is a reflection of the stuff which dwells inside each and every one of us.
My question is: Who exactly are we at this stage of our evolution, and what do we aim to do about it?
Some time ago I watched a YouTube clip entitled, “Kids Explain Why Women Are Paid Less Than Men” on the Jimmy Kimmel Live channel. Not surprisingly, the majority of the kids were parroting the voices of the collective with regards to this issue. Disheartening as it was to witness a new generation of young people already infected with the mind viruses of the world around them, I had to remind myself of a timeless truth: Change always starts with the person in the mirror. So…what do I intend to do about it?
Even though our kids didn’t come here already knowing how to label, stereotype, devalue, and marginalize other human beings, somehow We the People managed to model this for them. And while we may do our best to instill the “right” values in our kids — tolerance, empathy, and kindness — we’re mostly unaware of the mixed signals we send them.
Are we naïve enough to believe our kids will do as we say and not as we do and say?
Maybe our kids came to the planet to teach us, and not the other way around. That can’t be possible, can it? After all, We the People have been here much longer, and therefore we know best…about everything.
We believe we’ve taught our kids “right from wrong,” yet we’re often puzzled when they go out into the world behaving in ways that run counter to our righteous teachings. We call into question our kids’ apparent lack of morals; labeling them as entitled and devoid of any personal integrity.
We fear for the future of our kids—but we mostly fear for our own, and of a world run by people like them. The funny thing is, we’ve forgotten they are who we are. More precisely, they are exactly who we’ve programmed them to be.
Perhaps it is We the People—those of us who have been on the planet the longest—who are in fact, the “lost ones.” Perhaps it is We the People who are the directionless entitled liars, and not our kids.
Change always starts with the man in the mirror, so…what do we aim to do about it?
Now that We the People have chosen a person who most accurately reflects that part of ourselves we seek to suppress or hide from, how do we heal?
What do we need in order to move us forward?
After a contentious year of civil and political strife, how do we help make our world a place where bullying in all its forms is not only unacceptable within our schools amongst our children, but unacceptable period?
If it’s not okay for our children to make derogatory statements about others, or cause physical harm to another, or use pejoratives when referencing people who appear to be different from them, then it’s not okay for the folks running for political office — representatives of We the People, mind you. And…it’s not okay for We the People to engage in these types of behavior either.
On another note, in what ways can we continue showing our daughters that they can be strong, powerful, and intelligent and unapologetic about being strong, powerful, and intelligent?
Hillary Clinton is one of many courageous examples of what this looks like. Love her or hate her, she’s a trailblazer who has the daring to step out there and own her power, even in the face of ruthless backlash from “the establishment.” The ripple effect stemming from her constant presence in the political arena is reflected by the growing numbers of young women fearlessly throwing their hats into the ring.
As for the 2016 presidential election, I didn’t perceive any real “losers” or “winners” in spite of what we were being fed by those random media sound bites. Sure there were people who were angry that “their” candidate didn’t get elected, and there were people who were over-the-moon about the results. But in spite of all the hoopla and distractions, one thing remains: We the People are now being challenged to do better.
We must remember, our younger generations still need us to continue modeling the kind of world we want them to inhabit. To expect better of our young people means We the People need to become more aware of our own actions and the energy we project. In other words, we need to be more accountable.
Even when we can take the “easy” way out by blaming some other person, groups of people, or external entities for our perceived inadequacies, we are still accountable for the part we play; and we are still responsible for turning things around for ourselves. Besides, we owe it to the younger generations to release this notion of victim consciousness and “learned helplessness” within our collective psyche.
There’s no point in judging the youngsters for acting out during those times when they are feeling disempowered, when We the People haven’t exactly been the most consistent role models of authentic power or truth in our actions.
We, the People…We. That’s all-encompassing.
“We” refers to our connectedness as a unified people—a community—a global family.
“We the People” suggests we are indeed our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.
We are all reflections of one another — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
We are the change we desire to see. So…what do we intend to do about it, and…when do we start?