THE MOMENTS IN LIFE THAT ARE THE MOST DIFFICULT are those moments when we find two of our core values in opposition with each other. These moments are amongst the most painful moments I have ever known, because no matter which decision I make, I gain something that is important to me while at the very same time I lose something that is important to me too.
All my life, I have always believed I was a man of integrity. Integrity was and still is one of my strongest virtues and as such, it is a powerful core value in my life. In addition to that, there is another core value that means everything to me, I have always wanted to feel loved. Having lost my parents as a teenager, I have aways wanted the unconditional love I felt from them. Loving and being loved have always been central to my identity.
It was when these 2 core values came in opposition to each other that I experienced some of the deepest pain I have ever experienced. I lost my integrity in my need to feel loved. Everything crumbled. This is what happens when we are forced to choose one core value over another.
See if you can relate to this example. In America today, we have elected a president who, on the one hand has disrupted a corrupt system that needed disruption while on the other hand has uncovered a disrespect we have for each other that is painful to see. Those who believe in him, believe in the core value of disrupting the lies that we have been living in; those who oppose him see the lack of honesty and morality and the attacks on civil liberties that he seems to represent. Both sides have ground to stand on, but more and more the sides are becoming stronger, while at the same time, getting further and further apart.
When I ask people questions, I find there is very little people agree on. And yet, there is one question that I ask that EVERYONE AGREES on. And that question is: “Is this the world that you always dreamed of handing over to your children and your children’s children?” Everyone answers: “NO.”
To find the answer, we cannot stay in the situation we are in, we must elevate out of the battle of our opposing core values. As Buckminster Fuller wisely said,
“You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”
The idea of a new model excites me. As I look at the world around me, I see models that no longer serve us, yet we continue to participate in them because we do not know how to anything else. But these models don’t seem to offer people a way out of their pain.
It is time for us to find new answers; to explore how we can innovate by holding the space for people to openly and freely share all that they feel in an environment where they will not be judged but rather listened to and acknowledged, validated and understood and where most importantly people everyone feel loved and accepted.
It is time for our model to adapt to who we are today. Imagine how this collective input would innovate government, business, education, and the way we function as a community. How would this simple practice of listening to those no one listens to disrupt poverty, homelessness, racism, inequality, abusive behaviours, health care and the morality of a world craving to honour and respect each other?
Isn’t it time we give it a try?