Toastmasters Project 3: The lie we live and the way forward

Nov 8. The date we watched with hopeful heart and strong belief as the most powerful nation on earth elected their new leader, with the impact felt across the globe. As we all know, the campaign leading up to this election was contentious and divisive, with name-calling and significant differences of opinion on almost every issue that matters.

I think that people on both sides of this election need to trust that many, probably most people on the other side are operating not out of callousness, bad faith, or hate, but out of a strange mixture of fear and hope. Half of us are thrilled by the outcome of the election and half of us are crushed. But all of us have healing to do – of ourselves, and of all the people around us. And healing starts with listening.

Listen to the shrinking voice of a silent majority that revealed a troubling undercurrent of racism, Islamophobia and unaffordable healthcare that have run deeper and grow contagiously across the globe. Have we ever thought about where do these problems stem from? Most of the root causes lie inter-connectedly with levels of education, ethnic bias and other cultural biases. By far, we acknowledge them, but we never really talked about them openly.

Today we may have more information than any other generation. But what good are answers if we never begin to ask the right questions. So ladies and gentlemen, the question we have to ask ourselves is did we just accept the world as it or did we lose curiosity over the world?

We all have been living life by default, dictated by life’s expectations, guilt and reinventing slavery. This comes from within us. Let’s all break free and not settle for mediocre. Let’s not keep doing the same thing and expect the same results.

So the first step, is to resonate with the story or situation. We need to understand that societies and cultures are complex. Its not logical like programming languages. These are human beings and its messy. And our job as a global citizen and human being is to constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness, respect and understanding.  I personally struggled with this because I am blunt and I tend to speak my mind. Some people may like it, others not really.

Secondly, we have to map our journey and paint the vision. Keep learning but not to be a subject matter expert. Learn to increase awareness to enable greater innovation.

Lastly, we have to make contracts with ourselves. We have to note it down in black and white, the way we sign our bills. I think we call it resolutions in January. I have to be honest that I only have goals every now and then, whenever I feel like it. So I am trying to. I am trying to teach people how to treat me right and appreciate the values that I hang on to. I wont deny that I used to put myself last. Now, I am trying to put myself on the same level as the rest. Not higher, certainly not lower. You should too. Let’s transform our lives to be change catalysts and live life by desire.

I just given you insights on the lie that we live and the tricks to get away from them. But honestly, that’s only half of the puzzle. The second half is acknowledging the fact what we do may not work and that’s ok. Its ok because we are a lot more than what we do. And that helps us grasp the differences between states and feelings. We can feel disappointed because of a failure and yet be content, happy even. We might feel the joy of a victory, but, yet, enjoy the equanimity.

My dear friends, let’s all embrace the hero in us, empower the purpose and engage the future while reminding ourselves, we are “One People” sharing the hope of a better tomorrow.

Thank you.

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