Can you hear me now?
“Revolution doesn’t happen when society adopts new technologies.
It happens when society adopts new behaviors.”
— Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody
The past few days represent a learning time in our personal history on the earth. It’s almost impossible not to notice, and somehow participate in, the aftermath of our receiving the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in a U.S. wartime mission.
I used that word ‘receiving’ intentionally. We don’t just ‘hear’ news like this, we receive it somehow, each in our own way.
I’ve participated in the aftermath quietly too, for it’s been big enough to spill into the new book containment I’ve created for myself in recent days, despite the intensity of my concentration in wanting to finish that project soon, and finish it well. I’m not one to seek a public gathering somewhere, and frankly, those celebrations have concerned me greatly, especially to see their prevalent generational signature of receiving. I can’t help but wonder what parents have modeled for their children, and how current history has been taught in our schools, for most of the faces I see in those gatherings were so young when Osama Bin Laden’s notoriety in our collective consciousness began.
They’re still young now. One of the things so fascinating about all of this, is noticing how our world shifts and changes bit by bit, big by big while we are right in the center of it.
I’ve participated in two ways, primarily; watching way more broadcast news than I normally do (and reverting to old lurking habits on Twitter) and taking notice of the reactions within my own ‘Ohana, fully aware of how one’s closest family can affect each other. I was so grateful to know, even without having to ask them, that neither of my children wanted to be anywhere near those public gatherings either. Are we patriotic? Yes, we are. We just choose to be patriotic (and more) in a different way.
Then, when some of the noisiness of those two listenings abated, I sat down with my private journal, the one I handwrite in messily, for the very physical effort that particular writing process requires of me. Sometimes my hand skips lightly across the page in this notebook, with pen almost looking like pencil. At other times I’ve pressed so hard I skip writing on that page’s other side where the embossing has come through, making it bumpy. Both effects are the result of different degrees of intellectual honesty for me, where I’ve answered for myself, “Okay girlfriend, what do you really think about all of this, huh?” and allowed my emotional voices out too.
I won’t lie to you: I’m not always totally pleased with my answers to the question. But I’ve learned to accept my own truth at that point in time. I’ve learned not to beat myself up for it, nor overly celebrate it when it is pleasing. I just accept it as is, as the next point I’ll move forward from. That ability to move forward, and my resolution to do so with a measure of intentional diligence, is what I want to keep focused on most of all.
We’re all in a perfect storm kind of time, but it’s one which comes with some quiet if you choose to step into it. It’s perfect for self-reflection and listening to your personal values talk to you. It’s a time to tell yourself the truth, and understand who you are at that particular moment in time. It’s a time to figure out what you’ll do about that knowledge.
I hope you do step into the quiet of your perfect storm too. Just do it for you.
You are probably getting bombarded with all kinds of opinions. Feelings are raw, and at times like these, people need to be heard, so they look for people like you, who they feel close to, and know will listen. You can be there for them, but be somewhere for yourself right now too.
How do you really feel?
When we talk about the values-based philosophy of Managing with Aloha, people will ask me, “Rosa, how do I truly know what my deepest values are in their pure me, at my own core state?” and all I can say is that, “You’ll know. Trust in your intuition, and you’ll know.” The best advice I can offer them is to learn to talk to themselves more, so they can hear themselves more too.
This is one of those times, I think, and I hope you take advantage of it. Listen to your own values, and receive them for what they are; you and your gifts.
Then, you can decide what you’d like to do about that.
No matter what they’ve been about, all these historical moments have that in common, don’t they: They become life markers we move forward from.
Ka lā hiki ola. Welcome the dawning of your new day, however you and your good values choose to define it.