Written by Colin Adam (December 2022)
I read this brilliant article, written by Colin Adam from Enneainternational (one of the Enneagram Companies I work with) and I wanted to share it with you, because it is really profound.
Creating a whirlpool of change and hope is my dearest wish and what Colin shares does exactly that. Please sit back, read and enjoy and let’s join together as the Energy Incubator Family and do one act of kindness a day and see if we can just change the world for one person a little bit, each and every day. I’m certain it will change your sense of hope-fulness and wellbeing as well as adding to the hope in the world.
'Hoping' for a change, or 'Making' a change for a better 2023?
"... When I reflect on the communication over time from clients, friends, family, the media and others, a pattern appears. It’s a tapestry of interwoven themes that includes “how difficult it’s been over the last while; “the state of the economy”; “corruption in government”; “the covid-19 nightmare”; “censorship in social media;, “nations at war”; “crime levels”; “increased homelessness”; “climate change”; and “can’t trust our leaders”. I could continue the list but I’m sure you get the picture.
After the initial downloading of negativity people usually end with a poignant hope that comes across more like a heartfelt cry – it’s the hope for a better 2023. At face value it sounds glib, but beneath the surface I sense a desperate pleading. It’s an expression of hope that brims with uncertainty, like a gambler who, having lost almost everything, bets his last dollar on the outside chance of recouping his losses.
It’s a hope that someone, somewhere will arrive on the scene, fix the mess, and restore a semblance of sanity to our world. It’s a hope that contains a paradoxical feeling of hopelessness: “I can’t fix the problem, so who’s going to lead us out of this mess.” What a disempowered, and depressing mindset this is. At the root of it, I think, is a fear that that we may not survive, so we focus inwards as we try to keep ourselves from drowning. We might become self-protective and perhaps defensively self-oriented as we strive to keep our heads above the water.
In this state of anxiety and fear we’re at risk of accepting strong tyrant leaders who promise to change things for the better but who actually seek the power to control us and use us for their own purposes. History shows that people can easily fall foul of this type of ‘false saviour’ who initially looks like a benevolent rescuer.
A Better Way:
But there’s another way – a way of humble self-empowerment. All it takes is to make a personal decision and then act on it. We each have far more power than we realise. It’s a power that we need to become deeply aware of; a power that can truly change the world for good. It requires a realisation that we are the ones who can turn many of the negatives into positives. Someone has to make a difference, and that someone is you, me, and us collectively, not the white hatted Lone Ranger nor the cavalry, nor a political leader. It’s us. At the core of this lies ‘personal mastery’ and ‘resilience’ and it’s deeply rooted in our personal life-enhancing values and spirits.
What if we began paying much more attention to what we have than what we don’t have? What if we stood up and spoke out for what we know is right – spiritually, morally, ethically? What if we stopped fighting and extended a warm hand of friendship, even to people we disagree with? What if we consistently showed compassion, kindness and love for our fellow human beings and stopped belittling, hurting, and dominating them? Can you imagine what the world would be like if enough of us did this?
When people take a stand and begin to live this way, it has impact – impact on self and ‘impact on others’, and it sometimes grabs the headlines, which affects even more people. Take a look at the following extraordinary example of Keshia Thomas who stood up for what was right by ‘standing in the gap’.
Keshia Thomas - Standing up for what was right
In the summer of 1996, the Ku Klux Klan decided to hold a rally in Ann Arbour, Michigan, USA. A counter-demonstration was organised in opposition to this and was scheduled to take place on the same day. One of the Klan members decided to go undercover and join the counter-demonstration but, unfortunately for him, he was recognised and his cover blown. He tried to run, but the enraged crowd chased him down, caught him, and as tempers flared, he was physically attacked while people chanted “Kill the Nazi!”.
Keshia Thomas, an African-American lady, was one of the counter-protestors. On witnessing the angry scene she stepped forward and physically shielded the Klan member from the violent attack which would probably have led to his death. She was successful in saving him, even though he was her ‘enemy’ with extremely different views.
What a powerful display of courage and human compassion! She stepped up when no-one else would, to do what she knew in her heart was right. It was an astonishing act of love for a fellow human being with whom she strongly disagreed. She later said, “Nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea.”
Of course, there are many everyday examples of ordinary people who made a positive difference in others’ lives. Here are a few:
Everyday acts of kindness
In 2019, the author Nicole Cliffe asked her Twitter followers to share the kindest thing a total stranger had done for them. Amongst the many replies were a woman who offered a hug to a lost 17-year-old traveller at an airport, a stranger helping a woman home after she suffered a panic attack, and a group of homeless men using their loose change to refill parking meters.
These surprising acts of kindness may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but every one of them made a difference in someone’s life.
We don’t all experience dramatic events where we see the need to ‘stand in the gap’ the way Keshia did. But every day there are opportunities to make a positive difference in our world. Random acts of kindness, paying it forward, reaching out to someone in need, or helping a stranger – these don’t need to be hugely costly, or put us at risk in any way. But they can make a massive difference to someone, and you never know what the ripple effects will be.
A small thing could change a person’s life or influence their thinking, radically.
Try to imagine, if you can, a world where a critical mass of people decided to live their daily lives from a place of love, kindness and compassion, and that they actually displayed these qualities daily. It could potentially put an end to war, eliminate poverty and acts of violence, and build communities where people passionately cared about each other. The possibilities are endless.
But if you can’t quite picture a world like that, then imagine the impact this approach could have on your local community, your neighbourhood, or even your family. "
And may you have peace and connection, hope and comfort as you continue into the rest of 2023.
Much love always,