My dear friends, clients, fellow Americans, and human beings,
I have been quiet for some time on the global climate and distressed state of the world. This was done with much intention. I chose to step back and research what I was being fed by the news. This meant considering both sides of the various situations we have seen impact our world this year. I seek to see the whole picture – not just one side.
We are in a society that is polarized and feels compelled to quickly choose one side of any given issue. Right now, we are experiencing a surge in emotional warfare. Our emotions are being played upon relentlessly, and the media are counting on their audiences to respond and take action from the heightened emotional state. Sadly, they are doing this largely to drive ratings, elevate the noise, and ultimately make us feel forced to choose a side of the current day’s intense issue. Conversely, I’d like for all of mankind to consider a different approach, one that starts with a pause. What would happen if we all took a moment to turn inwards, consider the broader scope of every issue, and make decisions only after considering the complete dynamic? We are all human beings, no matter what our opinion is of any given issue – and we are all in need of giving and receiving two key things – love and acceptance.
Social media platforms by design allow us to respond with haste, without asking us to take a moment to think before typing our feelings. While the news strives to show the extreme viewpoints of any given topic with two goals in mind – one, to shock us and two, to control us through fear. Adding to that, we have politicians, officials, and government agencies who are dedicated to making sure we take a side – which ultimately serves to separate us.
Can you imagine the world with less noise and more information? A place where a healthy discussion was encouraged with the goal of uniting us? I want to encourage people to turn off any source that brings them negativity. This is the only way to teach polarizing entities that as a society we are not interested in the current process that is playing out in the media, which seeks to break down our well-being as human beings.
I am forever a student of life and there are 3 books that I have read in recent years that I wish all of humankind would add to their reading list. In fact, I keep several copies of each in my office, so if you are reading this and it resonates with you, please let me know and I will set aside a copy of any of the below for you until my supply is gone.
Here is my list of essential reads that help quiet the noise and unite humankind:
1. Factfulness by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, and Ana Ronnlund:
a. These authors are social scientists and they have worldwide personal experience in pandemics of all sorts. They have personally immersed themselves into many in order to understand the human behavior and consequences associated with each. This book starts off with a small quiz to discover what is actually relevant today vs what you think is. It then goes on to illustrate how information gets misreported and embellished – which causes us to have false perceptions of how things really are. While our society is far from perfect, it will show that ultimately humans do more good than bad, and we are light years ahead of where most of us think we are in most cases. This book is an easy read yet, discusses most issues that cause division including women’s rights, abortion, poverty, climate change, and the extinction of animals. I found this book allowed
me to have a much clearer understanding of our world and humankind. It is about discovering our well-being by getting the noise out of our heads and replacing it with facts. It is very much a reality reset – which is critical in order to level the mental playing field and start from a place of truth.
2. Unoffendable by Brant Hansen:
a. Brant is a Christian Radio host and is a master of using comedy to deliver very important information. His focus lies in defining what unoffendable is, and why it is so important to become unoffendable. In my opinion, it is one of the single most important tools for humans to learn. Our society has become one of complete offense. Yet being offended destroys our self-worth. Our self-worth is completely under our control unless we give that power to others. Furthermore, to be offended comes with a sense of superiority and one that doesn’t consider the other side. What is interesting is just how seldom people actually intend to offend others, yet we give up our self-worth to another because we get offended by a mistake. For those few times someone does intend to offend us, do we want to give them the power to upset us? This book will cause you to say “wait aren’t I right to feel that way”? “I am right! So I can be upset if I want to.” Fight this feeling and read with an open mind and heart – you will be so glad you did. It’s important to remember to give yourself grace, as learning to become unoffendable is an active practice. However, the practice shows that people can change and we can adopt new behaviors if we work towards building new response systems. This is my #1 recommendation for discovering how to keep and grow your personal well-being.
3. Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick:
a. This Book became a movie called Fireproof. It is a Bible-based book on working through Marriage relationships. However, it is excellent at helping us become better people as we learn how to offer love – even if the recipient is not accepting of it. This book requires 40 days of daily study and action. I have just entered my 3rd review of it. I love how I feel as I work through it. I will be using the system as an experiment with my staff this round. Of course, they will not know it. I will see how our relationships change as I focus on loving and appreciating them. I believe the principles that are discussed for married people can be adapted for use in all relationships. The key discovery in this book is how we transform as we place focus away from us and onto others. Remember that leading with a servant’s heart is also an active practice. Through intentional actions and a simple commitment to the process, new levels of joy, love, understanding, compassion, and more can be achieved in your relationships.
My hope in sharing this is to help you and yours discover freedom, autonomy, and the ability to be filled with peace of mind. While 2 of the 3 books are Christian based, they seek to impart knowledge versus preach. They simply happen to be written by authors who have chosen Christianity as their faith. I’ve always been a believer that truth is truth, no matter where you find it, and have focused my life on discovering truth wherever it may be. Let’s empower each other to take control of our actions, seek out truth, and enrich the lives of others along so we are stronger together versus decisively divided.