Wise words from Frederick Douglass, who once served this country as a social reformer, slave abolitionist, author and statesman during the 1800’s. I’m sure he’d seen an inappropriate decision a time or two.
Here was a man who truly fought for societal change during times of oppression and serious political and economical upheaval.
And while this individual fought for such drastic changes in our country, the fact is, change starts with the individual.
Let’s start with the basics. Have you ever changed the oil in your car? What about your bank balance?
Maybe you’ve decided in your own way, to change the world by helping someone or even an organization.
These examples of change are fairly easy, right?
Now, let’s up it a bit. How easy is it to change your mind, your perspectives, and/or your beliefs?
A bit more difficult considering they are often ingrained into your core; your life system. For most people, changing what might be understood as their core values, can very difficult because they are, in some way shape or form, variables that almost define our very existence.
So, yeah, change can be a bit rough, but to Frederick Douglass’ point of struggle, we also tend to see massive progress and change after an extreme shock to the system.
We can even look to what’s happening within our current American political landscape as a great example. Watching the state of affairs and the drastic behaviors of everyday Americans after our recent elections has shown we’ve potentially entered an extreme stage of shock.
However , maybe there’s opportunity here for us. Let me explain.
Normally, much of society just lives while time passes by. They see the same cars drive down our streets, mail showing up in the box, and yesterday’s pen right where it was left. Society is often asleep at the wheel, sort a speak.
Now, on many occasions, this “coasting” is comfortable. The couch holds us in just right, and Netflix manages to nail its perfectly outputted suggestions to us each and every time.
But what happens when this all gets disrupted?
What happens when the couch you were just slouching in now can’t handle your tossing and turning because instead of Netflix being on, it’s a presidential announcement that’s caused your heart rate to skyrocket?
What happens when you open your mailbox and surrounding all your bills is nonsensical political propaganda?
Social disruption affects us all and no one is immune to it. Recent activities in America have literally forced our society to become uncomfortable from our “coasting” lives.
Today, we are more awake to our lives, whether we asked to be or not. We’re awake to what’s going on with our relationships, the social consequences happening around us, the economy we live in, and essentially our core values because of our current political spectacle. Here in lies an opportunity!
Now, maybe you read the word opportunity and think,
“What the hell is this guy thinking? Opportunity?”
But hear me out for a minute.
Under “normal” circumstances, that is, asleep at the wheel, autopilot behavior, people rarely think to engage others in their outright perspectives and beliefs. This is primarily due to our social conditioning that says, “Avoid the hot-button topics.”
But today, these ‘hot-button topics’ cannot be avoided. They got blown wide open and society is TALKING. Engagement in times of struggle can, and in this case, create growth . . . we hope!
If you look throughout all of history, massive change took place right after massive disruption. We all know that growth is often uncomfortable, but times like these call for some of the same behaviors we’ve seen historically; a time where we’re not isolated, nor the minority hoping for change, or the disillusioned. Instead we are a force.
And while growth and change are uncomfortable, especially during this time in our country, the space has been created for us to be primed and ready to talk. It is officially time to wake the fuck up.
It’s time to wake-up to the fact that we are all in this together and the only way we’re going to get through this is to pick up our big boy pants and work. We must work together and join efforts in asking “What opportunities are in front of us to allow us all to have the life of our dreams?”, and then go from there. Otherwise, what has made this country so great, will be lost.