Enlightened Conflict

Words unite and build (or divide)

January 16th, 2017

 

words big brevity

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“Discourse should be proper, restrained and dignified, if possible.

A society that devalues meaningful conversation slides into mediocrity and is debased by the decline in accepted standards of speech.

 

Our English language is an amazing vehicle that allows us to communicate effectively and with the finest of nuances. But abusing the language by stooping to deride or threaten another is not what helps keep our society operating smoothly. We should instead seek to encourage and uplift others and not tear them down with negative rhetoric that serves to promote discord.

 

Americans need to tone their language down, and it’s imperative we begin to act like adults who know how to use self-restraint in guiding our thoughts and actions.”

 

 

Patrick Martin

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Well.

 

It must be a word day for me.

 

trump twitter storm

………… poor leadership communication ……….

The same day I talk about the hollowness of a tweet and empty words <and how Trump refuses to effectively communicate as a leader> I read that the Prime Minister of the UK is using words in an almost striking example of how to address division, and a divided citizenry, with words.

 

We could replace the UK specificity with USA specifics in her proposed speech … and … well … it would be exactly what we should expect from one of the most divisive public servants <I use ‘servant’ loosely in this case> we have ever faced.

 

She is expected to say <with Britain references changed>:

“… focus on building “common goals” – such as protecting and enhancing workers’ rights – in an attempt to create a consensus after months of acrimonious exchanges.

 

“One of the reasons that USA’s <sic> democracy has been such a success for so many years is that the strength of our identity as one nation, the respect we show to one another as fellow citizens, and the importance we attach to our institutions means that when a vote has been held we all respect the result. The victors have the responsibility to act magnanimously. The losers have the responsibility to respect the legitimacy of the result. And the country comes together.

Now we need to put an end to the division and the language associated with it – loser and winner <sic> and all the accompanying insults – and unite to make a success and build a truly global USA <sic>.”

—-

 

Well.

 

This is a leader looking for a clear path forward and using words to not only unite … but to seek civilized progress.

 

This is a leader recognizing that a tweet is insufficient.

 

This is a leader who identifies the problem, appeals to the better aspects of people and offers a solution.

 

 

Look.unite-have-each-other-everything

 

I recognize words only have so much power.

In fact I could argue that they do not have actual behavioral power but rather they are the things that enable the behavior to happen<they get the mind in the right place to actually do what should be done>.

 

Asking people to simply ‘come together’ because of nationalistic acceptance is unrealistic.

 

Viewed harshly in this context … words are being tasked with asking people to partially give up on who they are and become followers of a nation defined by uncertain leadership combined with an uncertain vision <and a decision & vote they may not agree with>.

 

And this is where someone like Trump would have to take a step farther than the prime minister of England. England has their task set forth – Brexit. It is a specific tangible fulcrum point of where to go from here.

 

The UK needs to align behind it and align behind its success <because it is going happen regardless of whether you were a winner or loser in that discussion>.

 

words change inspire futureAnd maybe that is why words matter even more so for President Elect Trump than anyone else.

We do not have a specific task … and, no, “great again” is not a task. And, no, dismantling a relatively successful prior administration agenda is not a task <that is destroying to create>.

 

Without a specific task solving divisiveness and a divided 330 million people universe is a tricky thing. It is not binary <as many people seem to want it to be>.

 

It is not binary because some people define losing in different ways. Some people define winning in different ways.

 

And the truth?

 

A concept can look great as a ‘winner’ but in practicality is a loser.

And vice versa.

 

This is not a game where one team’s win is another team’s’ defeat.

 

Just look at immigration <which is a hot topic almost everywhere these days>.

People may want to see a substantial reduction, or better control, with immigration but may not agree on at what cost <let alone be clear about that cost> and the steps to be taken to address it.

 

You can actually be a winner & loser at the exact same time – winner on the fact immigration is being addressed and loser in that the way it is being done doesn’t match what you want.

 

Winners and losers and combinations thereof are strewn among all the issues Trump has made specific promises, vague promises and no promises on.

 

Free to trade globally has an upside as does nationalism.

Standing by the rule of our own laws and controlling our own borders has an upside for some … but a downside for others.

Eliminating regulations has an upside for some … and a downside for others.

My main point would be that regardless of any decision a president and the administration make there are winners and losers … and to suggest 300 million people win is … well … ludicrous.

 

But let’s take a minute and talk about words and our new most important words time brevity‘winner’ – president elect Trump.

 

Where our President Elect gets most challenged with words <beyond the fact he really doesn’t know big nor good words> is that now we track what I refer to, loosely, as the Trump promises.

 

In the vaguery, or the wretched hollow, of past promises and today’s reality there remains … well … a divide. Therefore, the words encourage divide and reinforce divide. There has been no attempt of words to unite … which would simply be important words that bridge the past promises and present realities <of what will be done>.

 

Just try to track Trump promises versus the reality of the global construct of … well … everything … and there is big question with who the “loser” is.

 

In order for Trump to win, and be a winner, he needs to use words well & wisely — not think in terms of 140 characters but rather paragraphs. The words used well offer the path for alignment and put a ‘hold’ on divisiveness for a while so we, as a nation, can get started.

 

Any leader worth a shit knows to even have half a chance with regard to organizational success <winning> you have to not have part of the company holding you back and you should have as a goal to have a much of the organization stepping forward together as possible.

Power & efficiency resides in unity.

Fragmentation is inefficient and less powerful.

 

Now.

 

words are free cost youI will end by pointing out that words are not the only thing that unites or divides. Words establish the framework from which things happen … when behavior either makes the words themselves winners or losers.

 

Words may say “end divisions and work together” but if actions say the opposite … well … we all lose.

 

The UK PM offers a word path, not a word salad as our President Elect seems to prefer, toward uniting a divided country. Words are powerful when used well.

Large and full and high the future still opens

October 24th, 2015

imagery black ink write

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“I take up my old pen again – the pen of all my old unforgettable efforts and sacred struggles. To myself – today – I need say no more.

Large and full and high the future still opens.

It is now indeed that I may do the work of my life.

I like these words.

For anyone approaching middle age, or wading through it, they may be the most useful words anyone has written, words that if we repeat often enough we may even start to act upon.

Words that could change our lives, or the long sweet stretch of it that is left.”

==

Henry James

<wrote in his early 50s>

—————————————

“We know that greatness doesn’t come from building walls, it comes from building opportunity.”

=

Obama

<note: the original quote has “America’s” before greatness>

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Well.

 

 

Bad we help that

 

Yesterday I wrote about ‘no chance means no chance.’ Looking back upon it while I don’t regret the truth, or pragmatism, of it … I began recognizing I kept going back to it again and again … my fingers hovering over the pragmatic side of it and the ‘delete’ key … and having my thoughts hover over the hope portion with itchy fingers, and itchy mind, to write more and talk about how glimpses of ‘having a chance’ are the things that often not only get us thru the day but get us thru life.

 

 

That is the power of words. A word has the power to change the way you think about things but maybe more importantly a word … yes … a single word … has the power to change your life <because what you think often begets what you do>.

 

 

A word can surely be a wall … but more often than not … a word is a building block for opportunity.

 

 

Such a small thing is large and full and … well … high the future still opens.

 

 

And while that sounds big & sweeping and maybe easily dismissed as words of a dreamer and things that are nice to think about but will never happen … I would like to point out that for almost 20 years now the internet has brought more new & different words into our lives.
These words are opportunities.

 

 

These little things are big and full of the future.

 

 

Because of this seeming barrage of words our lives, our culture; our minds have been forever changed.

 

 

There is no going back and there is no ‘giving back.’ Words when encountered remain your companion to be hugged, bewildered by, spurned, loved and shadows you wherever you go from that moment on.words big brevity

 

 

Even on the days when we shut ourselves away from people and the bustle and grind of Life there will not be a single day in which you will not interact with words.

They are your constant companion <friend or foe>.

 

 

Whole companies are now dedicated to words.

 

 

Any search engine or browser company.

 

Any social media company.

 

Shit.

 

Whole industries these days has been developed solely on the use and management of words.

 

 

Your words beget their words.

 

They organize words which inevitably force you & I to consider, an reconsider, words.

 

 

At the core of our lives is one simple thing … a word.

 

 

one plusOne word at a time our life is built.

 

One word at a time … opportunity … a dream … a hope … is built.

 

 

This means that a word, or combination of words, is the key to everyday life.

 

 

The way we interpret a word can not only change the present but impact the future. One word can … well … actually change our behavior <Amazon is the most practical tactical example of this>.

 

 

 

Technology has actually given a word ‘super powers’ <and they were pretty frickin’ powerful before>. a word is no longer something we simply observed & absorbed … it now has acquired a more active role in life … it creates and impacts how we interact.

 

 

Simplistically.

 

 

A word is a fundamental catalyst of Life.

 

 

Anyway.

 

 

It is impossible to imagine the world without words.

 

 

A word enables us to do things that maybe seem unthinkable.

 

A word encourages us to think … well … we have a chance.

 

 

And, maybe most of all, while I think of a word as the small key to greatness and opportunity I continue to think of the one syllable 4 letter word that is possibly the most powerful word in any language – hope.

words a minute fast

 

Whenever I wonder why I sit in front of my computer and write I remember that words not only are the only constant companion we encounter every day but they are involved in almost every aspect of our lives.

 

 

 

In some small way maybe I think of James’ words … “today – I need say no more. Large and full and high the future still opens. It is now indeed that I may do the work of my life.”

 

 

Weigh your words carefully today my friends … and take a moment and ponder the words you encounter … for most do not build walls but offer opportunities.

right beneath your feet

June 17th, 2015

 

 

—————Bad one less CorruptDream

“The path is always right beneath your feet.”

=

Issan Dorsey Roshi

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Ok.

 

 

This is a quasi-rant on hope.

 

 

We so often speak of hope in big sweeping terms scanning aspirational horizons for something better … yet … more often the reality of hope resides right under your feet on a path you currently stand, walk, ride or run.
Bad travel move idea

 

Your choices, decisions and where you elect to place one foot after another is where hope resides.

 

 

 

It’s not found within a thankless society, a selfish culture nor an ever increasingly appearing unstable world … it is within us.

 

 

 

That’s why when I read Donald Trump said “the American dream is dead and I can make it alive again” I wanted to say “fuck you.”

 

 

And I am not being just an American nor am I just talking about some esoteric American dream but rather anyone’s dreams & hopes in any country.

 

 

I just want anyone & everyone to stop fucking with my dreams and my hopes.

 

 

Now.

 

 

I won’t argue that the world today is challenging enough to make it feel more despair than hope … more bad than good … and that the system makes it more difficult for individuals to attain some of their hopes & dreams … but that is external stimulus not internal resolve.

 

 

And I, frankly, don’t want to give my dreams and hopes to some external cloud storage system for care … I want to store them in me.hope versus positive thinking

 

 

 

They are mind to protect and project.

 

 

And this leads me to destiny, fate … and hope.

 

 

 

Well.

 

 

This all means that I believe we make our own destinies. Every day we are presented with choices. Some we don’t even recognize. Some we don’t even see <until they are past>. Some we see and make a choice. Our destiny is a reflection of these choices … made and not made.

 

 

Our hopes and dreams are made right there.

 

 

This does not mean our independence is not interconnected in an interdependent fashion in some ways … just that in order to cut through the spiderweb of random things you may be dependent upon you have to independently make choices and decisions.

 

 

If you do not?

 

 

Well … that makes your own hope also dependent upon this spiderweb of … uhm … shit.

 

 

This all means that I believe we assume, and have, responsibility … as in responsibility for your own actions <and hence your dreams, fate, destiny & hope>.

 

 

Today it seems more likely someone will suggest their behavior, mistakes, flaws and even their dashed dreams & hopes … are a reflection of outside influences, a ‘lesser than’ home life experience growing up, poverty, ethnicity, or some painful experience that impacted us in childhood.

 

 

Some people … that is what they learned.

 

 

And some people were taught otherwise by their adult mentors.

 

 

Some learn that when you screw up it is on ‘you’ and no one else.

 

 

Some learn you can be frequently wrong, frequently stupid … but if you have been taught to be accountable … to admit it … you may get some shit from people but you will also be known as someone who is accountable for their own actions.

 

 

And you will also have assumed accountability, and responsibility, for your own hope & dreams.

 

 

So … please, PLEASE, don’t try and tell me my dream has been killed.

 

hope just fucking stop

 

You are fucking with my hope.

 

 

And you are fucking with people’s minds.

 

 

 

 

Someone trying to fuck with our minds matters … it matters because … well … Susan Neiman, a social philosopher, said it maybe the best:

 

 

——————

“As long as your ideas of what’s possible are limited by what’s actual, no other idea has a chance.”

=

Susan Neiman

————–

 

 

 

Someone may suggest a dream is owned by a country … but they are wrong.

 

 

Someone may suggest hope is in the purview of some mystical leader who can deliver it in some way upon us … but they are wrong.

 

 

Someone may suggest both my dreams and hopes are at the mercy of some system or obstructed by some evil activity in my past … but they are wrong.

 

 

They are wrong because the moment you actually agree you have permitted your ideas of what is possible to be limited by what appears as actual <and let me tell ya … ‘actual’ is a moving target in and of itself’> … and no other idea … no dream … no hope … has a chance.

 

 

 

My hope is my hope.

 

My dreams are my dreams.

 

sunset paint path
Quit fucking with my hope.

 

 

Quit fucking with my dreams.

 

 

 

They are mine.

 

 

And the path to them is right underneath my feet.

Enlightened Conflict