It’d be easy to sit back after this election cycle and honestly wonder what happened to humanity.
I just signed up for a monthly cash donation to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), increasing my support of that organization.
I want to share a little about why.
I’m not expecting anyone who reads this to follow suit … though of course, it’d be great if you did. What am expecting is that if you’ve read this far you’re open to thinking about the issues at hand, and taking action that you feel is appropriate in the face of changes in the current political climate.
Our ideas are precious, especially to ourselves.
However it is that we arrive at them, we come to believe that they have immense value – so much so that we often consider them more than mere ideas or opinions, but elevate them to “The Truth”.
Our ideas make the leap from opinion to fact.
Yes, there is always hope. Hope is not a binary, yes/no condition. Hope is not absolute.
When we ask whether or not there is hope, what we’re really asking is “how much hope is there?”
When it comes to our new president-elect, many people seem to be reacting in binary fashion – all or nothing, joy or despair, parties or riots.
It’s not that clear. Not at all.
Even I have seen some glimmers of, dare I say it – hope – in recent days.
As you can imagine there’s a lot of finger pointing today. It’ll continue for some time to time, I’m sure.
What it brings to mind is something that I read not that long ago with respect to blame.
I’m dumbfounded. I’m ashamed. I’m embarrassed.
I’m dumbfounded by the results. Like many I never thought someone this clearly unqualified for the job stood a chance of getting it.
I’m ashamed of the results. “We the people” are not at all who I thought were were. I am ashamed of the fact that so many people honestly, truly believe that someone who speaks to the worst in human nature would be the better choice to lead this country.
I’m embarrassed by the results. Nothing more publicly demonstrates what “we the people” really are than who we elect to lead us. We’ve just confirmed every outrageous stereotype of “the ugly american” to the rest of the world. As a people we are more like him than not. And that’s embarrassing.
I’ve been trying to think of the various types of work I do on Ask Leo! and how there are different types of work. Most commonly the biz/entrepreneur types will tell you that there’s strategy and there’s tactics.
I think there’s something else.
This happens to me so often accidentally that I’m starting to think I should do it on purpose.
This morning I had a problem with one of the online services I use. It’s in an area that has been problematic for me before, so after checking that things were as they should be, I began to suspect the service provider.
I’ve seen and even purchased my fair share of products that are aimed at entrepreneurs trying to “make it”. Typically they’re all about how to break through, how to get noticed, how to play the social media game, how to do everything except one critically important thing.
I watched a TEDx video the other day (Risk Forward: the Rewards of Not Knowing | Victoria Labalme | TEDxSantaBarbara) where the speaker began, in essence, “there are people who set goals, plan for them, work towards them … this talk is for the rest of us”. I forget how I stumbled into this video – I think someone had mentioned it or the speaker somewhere – I’ve since lost track.
Now, I can’t say that I don’t have goals, but I can tell you I have no idea what I expect to be in 5 years (one of the classic goal-setting questions).
But I did come up with something that might … just might … sum up what I want my life to be.
Interestingly enough a few days ago I posted (or rather, re-posted) an article of mine called If I Had to Do It Over…, which starts:
I never planned to be a writer. And yet here I am. I kinda wish I’d approached a few things differently along the way.
It’s an article that’s been revised a time or two on Ask Leo!, and is always well received. This time ’round it was about republishing on an different platform in the hopes of additional eyeballs. You know, marketting.
One of the worst things you can do in terms of customer service is keep secrets, or simply fail to share knowledge.
Sometimes just answering the question “why?” will give you an order of magnitude better customer service.
A couple of examples:
Many people are suggesting that there’s a war on “truth”, for whatever “truth” they happen to believe in.
I think that’s a gross over-simplification. I think the problem goes much deeper than that.
I sometimes wonder if we’re becoming less and less capable of what I’ll call deep thought.
And by “we” of course I mean “I”.
I often like to tell people that I love my coffee but that I can stop any time … because I’ve done it before.
Some years ago I elected to try reducing my coffee intake to zero, and did so cold-turkey. What amazes most people is that I did not experience headaches as a result. Honestly, it was more of an “oh well” experience. (And, for the record, I tend to drink strong, caffeinated coffee). Similarly I’ve been known to have a cup of said strong brew … and then take a nap.
One of the first questions I asked myself about doing this whole daily thing is “why make it public”? Why am I doing this on a public blog where anyone can come along and read … and judge?
Because of course judge, they will.
A couple of reasons came to mind.
In 321 days I’ll turn 60. One of those arbitrary, round-number birthdays (though a friend often argues our “real” birthday’s are 280 days earlier). Nine years ago I did a “what I believe” post on my 50th, and I kind of expect to do the same again.
Between then and now I want to model one of the people I admire – Seth Godin. Seth posts something on his blog every day, and I’ve recently learned that he often doesn’t know what it is he’s about to write until he sits down to write it.
This appeals to me personally for a few reasons: