Life Happens

It certainly does. It definitely has taken some unprecedented and unexpected turns for me. 

Along this fork in our shared path I also learned I was not alone, except for when it came to seeking empathetic caring people. 

This edition of “Becoming Today” will have a tone different than any of the other nearly 600 conversations we have shared.

In July, I was really energized. I knew I was preparing for a time of great change. However the changes that came I never saw coming.

I knew I had a period ahead of me that would require my focus to be redirected, so I really got into a flow state. Every post you have read since July 25th was written and scheduled before then.

Today is the first time in nearly 12-weeks I have sat down to write to you.

While I hope those lessons and talks shared were timely for you, I was off living an existence unlike anything I have ever expected. And not in good ways.

Some of the incidents that occurred, I’m not yet detailing because they are not resolved and some will take years to correct the course on. 

I’m not complaining, just laying the foundation for our upcoming discussions.

Without faith I would not be here now.

And there are some I met in this period that are not. 

I met people. I watched people die. I watched people disappear. I witnessed and experienced anything but common courtesy being extended to human beings.

That’s why it is really on my heart to call to mind our need to become UNcommon.

What’s passing for a civilized society is rapidly deteriorating and appears to be only headed for the worse. I know this is counter to our year long focus on “Resurrecting Positivity”, however in order to do so we need to align ourselves to defeat negativity and lack of concern. 

It’s time to step up and make a difference. To put faith into action and each do whatever we can to help. An idea that is all too uncommon when examining what is actually occurring. So today let’s come into agreement as to what becoming uncommon means. 

Uncommon is defined as not common; unusual; rare”. For example using an uncommon word, or calling for uncommon behaviors. It’s also described as  being “unusual in amount or degree; above the ordinary”. Such as you’ve received an uncommon amount of mail today. 

Plus uncommon is also explained as “exceptional; remarkable”. The best examples of this interpretation are you and I….

The Collins Dictionary offers us this understanding, “If you describe something as uncommon, you mean that it does not happen often or is not often seen”. Synonyms include rare, unusual, odd, novel.  

Ewing Marion Kauffman  taught leaders, “It’s your right to be uncommon if you can”. And his foundation offers this explanation:

Let’s explore some commonalities between the uncommon. Qualities that we can aspire for and put into practice each and every day. These traits can assist us in inspiring, lifting up and supporting not only ourselves but all those we encounter. 

Way back when, offering us a millennial understanding , just after the turn of the century, which is an uncommon way of saying in the Fall of  2000, a Harvard Business Review article found there were four benchmarks necessary for uncommon leadership.

These included 

  1. Not being afraid to reveal their weaknesses. By being vulnerable they showed a leader could be successful by allowing others to see them as approachable and human. 
  2. Relying on intuition to choose the  appropriate timing and course of their actions. Their ability to collect and analyze feelings and information that is open to a wide range of interpretations helps to determine when and how to act.
  3. Managing people with “tough empathy.” Inspirational leaders empathize passionately, while maintaining an acceptance of reality allowing them to show that they truly do care about the functions and performance of others. 
  4. Vocalizing differences. Effective leaders celebrate, embrace and share what is unique about themselves.

Other studies over the years have also taught us about the importance of being approachable.

All of us need to feel connected and engaged in whatever task, job or goal we may be engaged in.  People should always be able to feel they are an integral part of any group or  organization. In creating an uncommon culture, our structure has to be constructed in an atmosphere of approachability. We must promote productivity, and the ability to achieve happiness.

Unfortunately over the past six weeks I have witnessed over and over again how uncommon these kinds of behaviors have become. 

Many of the basic principles we’ve asserted here over the last nearly two years are certainly not being carried out and in fact people are more often than choosing to behave in the exact opposite manners.

Ideas such as supporting others with compassion, dignity, respect, mercy and understanding of all individuals regardless of their race, gender, color, creed, demographic or any other way the “dividers” try to profile and categorize us for their purposes of intentional disunity, certainly are not common.

While we along this shared path should refuse to submit blindly to disrespectful, unhealthy and abusive behaviors, attitudes and policies, those are what I have seen first hand being acted upon as the “norm”.

At times when people are facing the most difficult days and catastrophic events of their life they are not greeted with compassion or treated with dignity and respect. In fact empathy does not even seem to enter the minds of the “gatekeepers” at all. 

I have been disgusted by the behaviors of groups and organizations that promote and base their multi-million dollar fundraising efforts around providings services that they are not doing and their initial responses are ‘go ask someone else’. Many times even refusing to allow those seeking help to even enter the buildings that are designated and funded by donations allegedly offering aid and comfort to those in need.

Unfortunately I am left with the observation that if you believe a group is providing something they more than likely are not.

It is a sad state of affairs. 

Certainly there can be economic restrictions but none of that needs to also involve rudeness and downrIght ignorant behavior towards people who are hurting.

Yelling at people through locked doors and telling them to call another organization’s resource number does no good especially when that number is called and the second group’s response is you need to go to the location where they just screamed at you. 

When He walked the earth, Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love one another as He loved us. 

Yet groups that try to claim they represent His way are not doing so.

They in particular need to realize and accept that no matter who you are or where you come from or what circumstance you may be trying to live through there are three things all people have in common. 

Everyone desires these three things and everyone should be treated accordingly by these virtues. That’s why this week we are going to spend a lot of time discussing these basic inalienable rights and reminding of their importance. 

We’ll begin with the first of those three tomorrow, because honestly I am still dealing with anger in connection to what I have witnessed.

Righteous indignation or not I know anger is not healthy. So I need to process that yet myself. 

I will be sharing some first hand insights into what I apparently was led to see. Things I certainly did not expect and even incidents that put my life in danger.

Those are stories I will share over the coming weeks, but I believe we need first this week, and in “we” –  I do mean both you and I, to refocus on the basics of human understanding and relations. 

I hope you’ll make the choice to join us tomorrow as we begin this examination on our next edition of “Becoming Today”. 

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