Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bridging the Gap

Here's to the crazy ones. 
The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. 
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They're not fond of rules. 
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. 
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough 
to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
~Apple, Inc.

I think most of the time what we really want is a little bit of peace and quiet, a little bit of tranquility, prosperity, understanding, relaxation and just the feeling that we’re okay.  And often what we get is a whole bunch of aggravation, irritation, confrontation, conflict, difficulty, challenge, and, well, one sort of problem after another despite our desire for comfort and ease.  Before we know it, this dis-ease pulls us this way and that in conflicting directions.  So we have to ask ourselves, am I going to take the bait and allow this to consume me, or am I somehow going to rise above it?  Yet, even when we do nothing there’s this nagging feeling that we cannot do what we would like to do about these factors, which exacerbates things quite intensely. 

On the one hand we may feel that we want to make a clear and determined move to do something about “it”—drawing a line in the sand, making a point and saying, no, I don’t want to have this anymore; yes, I want to sort this out; I want to move on from this; I want to clear this up and I want to change something that can’t possibly continue for another moment in its current form.  This desire for change is both admirable and appropriate, because it’s what spurs us into action.  The opportunity for change always exists when we leave the door open. Yet the speed at which change can come about is the unknown factor.  If we push too hard too fast, not only do we face extreme burnout and disappointment, we’re likely to miss something critical to our long-term success; maybe we leave behind someone or something that ought to come with us on the next leg of our journey.  Perhaps we end up with dissent instead of support.  On the other hand, if we do nothing and they do nothing and we just sit around waiting for change to happen, it will most surely continue to elude us.

Keep this in mind as you consider your own goals, resolutions and, perhaps, shortcomings in the new year, and as we look to our leaders to make it all better following the Fifty-Seventh Presidential Inauguration and the swearing in of President Barack Obama to a second term in office.  

Real change—thoughtful change—takes time.  It doesn’t happen without some effort.  The longer I live and the more I experience of the world the more I tend to side with the science fiction writers who have long maintained that time is not necessarily a linear thing.  We see it as something that has a beginning, middle, and an end; we see the past as something to move away from as we step into the future.

But perhaps time isn’t such a straight shot.  Maybe it’s more of a circular thing or a twisty swirly thing and instead of darting ahead, trying to get from where we are now to where we think we need to be by forging the quickest, most direct path forward, we should be looking back to our past, to our history, and re-examining some things that we thought were done, re-reading some case files that we thought were closed, to see what else might be there for us to learn from; with the goal of understanding how by re-writing our history or changing our perspective from what’s gone before we can empower ourselves, individually and collectively, for the future.

So take a deep breath and another deep breath and then one more.  Never mind about moving anywhere quickly.  We must ask ourselves, what can wait?  Why can’t it wait?  What must be handled right now?  I’m not suggesting a course of apathy or retreat, but rather that we pace ourselves and get it right.  Remain calm.  And put our confidence into something that we have every reason to be confident about, namely, about our ability to bring about the right kind of change at the right time.  We may not get it all at once but great change is attainable when we’re committed to finding a solution.