John Lennon once said: "We live in a world in which people hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight" and today, even televised. While reflecting on this, I cannot stop my brain from exploring other "everyday" situations that have a scary resemblance to his statement.
At the risk of sounding dramatic and one-sided, I feel compelled to share my thoughts on this. After all, awareness gives us the power to influence outcomes; it helps us become better decision-makers and gives us more self-confidence.
We live in a world where a phone vibrates stronger than a heart. One in which food is full of chemicals, yet soap contains cereals, honey and vitamins. We live in a world where graffiti painting is considered a crime while killing a bull is considered art. Where phones are more intelligent than their owners. We live in a world where pizza arrives faster than the police and an Uber before an ambulance. And, where animals are better friends than people. We live in a world where we consider building a baseball stadium with tax-payer dollars yet fail to develop schools and enhance the education system and its teachers' pay/benefits. Where more is expected of a footballer than a politician...
When we think of an ideal world, the one that comes to mind is a world free of discrimination, grief, poverty, hunger, and all things evil. However, this could not be further from reality. If evil did not exist, we would not be able to appreciate good. Do you agree?
Now, what happens when bad is more significant than good? We lose balance!
I question if we really want to live in a world where the scale is slightly tilted to the dark side in many instances. I ask if there is a little bit of something that each one of us can do as individual contributors.
So then, what is the solution?
Balance is the solution.
When we refer to a "balanced world," we think of a fair and inclusive world where everyone has opportunities and access to resources and is happy.
We can only bring peace, happiness, love, smiles, and prosperity worldwide by introducing balance. However, it requires that we change not only individually and as a society but as a global community.
Changing on a global scale is not an easy task. Not only does having everyone on the same page sound a bit like a utopia, but we also must consider the many who will shy away from the tremendous responsibility that comes with the promise of changing yourself. How you live, exist, interact with, and look at others.
Change always begins at home. Here are a few ways:
As an individual contributor to this world:
1. Begin by welcoming balance into your personal and professional life. This means setting boundaries, managing your energy and how you react to things around you. Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally.
2. Consume healthy products and foods produced by responsible companies supporting the same change you seek. Have the same level of intensity in your commitment to making time for family, friends, and hobbies that you have for your profession. Be empathetic, and don't settle.
3. Make an intentional effort to learn how to look past the differences between people that are made extra evident.
4. Focusing on gender, color, ethnic, racial, cultural, or religious backgrounds should never again be part of your modus operandi.
5. Pay no attention to the social and economic class divide between you and others you co-exist with. Adapt.
6. Remind yourself that we are all human. Similarly, you demand rights for yourself; you must look out for others around you. You may think your voice doesn’t matter, but it does.
In the workplace:
1. Be positive, be intentional and be empathetic. Our work is an integral part of our lives. Many derive satisfaction, affirmation, and happiness from their growth in the workplace. Your engagement in the community, with your colleagues, neighbors, and all those you interact with directly determines your quality of life and your emotional well-being.
2. Ensure you maintain a balanced workplace by providing growth opportunities and engaging in healthy competition.
3. Work diligently to create awareness to eliminate destructive or ruthless competition; without self-restraint or ethics. Disassociate yourself from that.
4. Learn to communicate effectively and support the creation of cultures of care where delivering feedback with respect becomes organic.
As a society:
1. Make everyone feel welcome, no matter which niche group they associate with. By living together, we become part of society. Within society, each individual is different from the other, or so we are told.
2. Make every effort to ensure peaceful co-existence.
Geographical boundaries no longer exist because of globalization. Therefore we are, as naturally judgmental humans, faced with more challenges than ever before.
3. Become an instrumental piece to help identify any gaps and work towards bridging and eliminating them.
4. Openly advocate for balance, equal rights, equal opportunity, humanity above all else, and sustainable growth.
5. Do not allow the socio-economic and political divide among us to destroy our global community.
Often, the most effective way to create balance is to focus on creating something new, Making the existing, old and obsolete. It is difficult to change old thought patterns, habits, and attitudes. Therefore, changing the norm, what already exists, what we are comfortable with, is a demanding and at times heavy path. We cannot lose hope. We cannot lose focus.
Let's bring back the human into the way we do business. And, most importantly, let's stop settling!