Navigating a Divided World
In need of a refreshing walk last night, I coincidentally bumped into a couple I had recently met. We ended up in a lengthy conversation, discussing a wide range of topics. As the sun dipped below the horizon sharing incredibly beautiful vivid colors, the topic shifted to Natural Intelligence, and a friend of theirs joined us.
This friend had attended a recent talk of mine. Initially, he was pleasant, but out of nowhere, he launched an attack, spewing judgment. I swiftly grasped what I represented to him, despite his limited knowledge of me. It became evident he couldn’t comprehend my talk, my mission, or me. He saw only a stereotype of his preconceived notions. Ironically, he criticized me for being overly positive and seemingly insensitive to the “underdogs” of the world. He had no idea how much energy it took for me to give this talk while I was in deep mourning.
As he continued his attack, he got frustrated with my responding with questions after each verbal missile. At some point, realizing his intoxicated state and lack of genuine understanding, I told him he was “right.” This set him over the edge especially when I said, “now that you are right, what now?”
Honestly, I no longer engage with toxic individuals who crave righteousness, as it’s unhealthy and depletes our energy.
The couple grew increasingly uneasy during this exchange because, in our previous conversation, we had openly discussed many of the issues he was attacking me about. It was unbelievable and yet very real, as we had talked about these matters candidly. He wasn’t attacking me personally but rather the biases ingrained in his mind. Why fight with someone who has no capacity to listen and deal with the infections of the mind? It’s like putting lipstick on a bulldog. It just frustrates the dog.
Finding my voice means refraining from participating in toxic disputes. Some people align with one side without ever walking in another’s shoes. This arrogance perpetuates the need to attack, fight, and win, but what do we truly win? In such situations, we all lose, and without breaking these cycles of ignorance, change remains elusive.
In all honesty, this is part of the societal programming that deepens divisions and hinders open, honest conversations about crucial matters, leading to the repetition of our history.
Choosing Health and Creation Over A Divided World
I stand on the side of humanity, which is what we need more of right now. This is a time for creation, not further destruction. And this transformation will only come from the edges without fear. And not wasting energy with people who need to be right.
Most of us simply want to live our lives. Paradoxically, despite the abundance of books, speeches, workshops, and programs on inclusion and diversity, we’re more divided than ever. Instead of learning to coexist and listen, we engage in more battles over what’s deemed right or wrong. Some people have no choice but to fight for our lives, as division is deliberately instilled. When I follow the slogans, I realize how many want to erase my existence from this planet right now. This is very real.
I endured a grueling year leading Inclusion and Diversity within an organization. I swiftly distanced myself from the rhetoric and hollow programs. It was all a facade, deepening divides. Once, the Inclusion and Diversity headquarters lead asked me what the capital of Latin America was. I replied, “Miami,” since that’s where our Latin American executives were based. They didn’t get it. I dare not share what happened behind closed doors and how executives lectured me about diversity. It was all a charade.
We have a tremendous opportunity to introspect now and ask ourselves, “What is my role in this chaos?” Not everyone is ready, but no one is coming to save us. We are the leaders we need.
What is the point of judgment, shaming and empty rhetoric? Can we peer beyond the veil of reality and recognize that we have the power to create?
Though my heart felt heavy upon returning to my current home in a foreign land, this trek flowed from within me. While basking in the beauty of nature last night, I shielded myself from another individual who chooses to live in someone else’s narrative. And ask each of us to become authors of our own stories. I could have “won” by refuting each of his attacks, but that would have only fueled his anger and increased his bullying. So, I choose health as I continue my work in the world without the need for approval or being right.
I dream that we invest as much in fostering understanding and awareness of what’s possible as we do in attempting to impose unnatural conditions on one another. How we choose to react is in our hands. I hope this man finds the healing required to bring the change he desires into the world. It won’t come through attacks but through creation and real open, honest dialogue and connection.
True wisdom begins with knowing oneself and choosing the path of creation and understanding over the divisive battles of the world pitting us against each other. Wanting to wipe us off the earth because of deep division, by design.