Are Roseanne & Samantha Bee Symptoms of Progress?
Perhaps it would be valuable for us to view the cancellation of the Rosanne Show not as a political move but as a stand against the vulgar and coarse energy that is growing throughout our culture. I am impressed with Bob Iger, who once again, is standing for the values of The Walt Disney Company, its employees, and customers.
That said, I love Samantha Bee but feel much the same way. Emotional violence is just as wounding as physical violence. As a child, I was the regular recipient of both. I used to stutter. I was scared of my own shadow because God forbid it could be my violent father or the bullies at school. Today, I sat with a client who was ruthlessly bullied as a child. It haunts him twenty years later.
There is a far bigger picture here than more political sniping time. We are witnessing the turning point of explosive transparency and its impact on sexual assault, gun violence, financial and political corruption.
To me, having our political landscape become so toxic is heartbreaking and unnerving. The culture of outrage is seducing too many of us to purposely put others down, to cause others to distrust themselves and to cheapen this thing called “Life.” Professionally, I have an unusual vantage point. We produce programs that transform careers, leaders, individuals, and workplaces. I’ve been at this game since 1990 and the issue that keeps me up at night is the growing number of people being kicked to the curb course, people are frightened. Alvin Toffler predicted that accelerating change would create a future shock by 2000, people who would in a constant state of difficulty by trying to absorb too much change in too short a period of time. 18 years later, 48% of Americans characterize themselves as “underemployed.” There is a time-worn phrase, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” So, when enough people assume they will be stuck forever, when they believe they have been cast aside, and when we have leaders that patronize them with promises of a return to the past rather than telling us to solve the problem, we go to war with each other. Yes, I worry. Because at the very time so many of us need the courage to change, too many of us are distracting ourselves with bitterness.
Candidly, I have absorbed enough violence for several lives and now that I am healthy enough to not personalize that energy or to recreate it, life is very, very good. Ultimately, I had to man up and take responsibility for my entire life. Becoming healthy not only required inner house-cleaning, I had to change where I placed my attention. Even the most enlightened will succumb if they say they want to lead a positive life and then dissolve that commitment by paying ongoing attention to negative messages and mediocre standards. We are making a mistake to fight fire with fire because we are fighting ourselves into the basement.
One of my clients reached out to discuss endorsements for her business. Instead of asking for endorsements, jump onto LinkedIn and send glowing recommendations to the people you most admire! Not only does this improve their day, it improves our day as well. And, LinkedIn always suggests that the recipients of the notes do the same. Why not have them give an endorsement when they are in a state of gratitude? And, why not look for ways to instill gratitude in others rather than beating them for not being in agreement with us? It is hard to play in the culture of outrage when we are busy crafting beautiful compliments for the people that do the right thing, and that commit their lives to making a difference.
In the game of having a country and a community that we can be proud of someone has to be the first to stop throwing the stones.
The people who are close to me today are sensitive, worldly, educated, and spiritually fit individuals. At one point, I had to transform to attract people like that into my life. I’ve earned my point of view the hard way.
There was a time when I gave enormous amounts of time to politics. All of that changed when I happened upon my life’s work. When I compared the impact of helping fostering programs that transform careers, leaders, and employers, politics became one of the most cumbersome ways to bring about change. I support individuals whose life’s work is going into politics. However, on a much greater scale, I am here to help people define their life’s work and to succeed in whatever they were put here to do. Because, within that career DNA, another problem gets solved and all of our lives improve.
I worry that too many of us will distract ourselves from the deep fears associated with self-change and that too many of us will seal our fate by picking on each other. From my perspective, the future is very bright. The rapid advancement of technology is offering all of us new freedom. We will not see our place in this new world if we are too busy trying to be right, trying to hold onto dwindling turf, and looking down instead of up.
Brought to you by David Harder, President – Inspired Work, Inc.
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