Friday, August 4, 2017

Choosing Courage Over Chaos

Also see my Winners versus Losers Paradigm article. Find out where you fall on the continuum.

Michelle Obama offered a few of the most inspiring words to come out of last summer’s political conventions, resulting in the choices made of the two major candidates for last year’s presidential election campaign, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. She suggested the following words were ones she taught her daughters.

“When they go low, we go high.”
These words are the kind we must live by in these troubled times. They represent words of a person, in this case Michelle Obama, who has, repeatedly, chosen to move beyond challenges, both personal and otherwise, with courage.  We must embrace words such as these and the ideals they offer.

By now, there is ever increasing consensus, even among some of the most die-hard extremes of both parties, that neither of these two candidates was an enviable choice. Other of our country’s great leaders have also, especially in times of national crisis, given us, by examples of the deeds and words they have lived by, inspiration that can guide us today. 

These will, consistently, be illustrations of what it means to choose leaning in, dialoguing rather than debating and exceptional leadership essentials. These are what our nation was built on. These are words, along with those who, not only spoke them but lived by them, that can assist us now, in coming through these trying times. Taking the road beyond conflict and chaos. 

Senator John McCain offered a striking example of courage in action, last week, when he cast his decisive “no” vote for the health care reform bill. Some commented that the power of McCain’s vote was tempered by the fact that he is, now, a dying man. Nonetheless, history tells us that McCain conducting himself as a maverick has long been his way. 

A maverick is a person who shows independence of thought and action, especially by refusing to adhere to the policies of a group to which he or she belongs. Whether McCain is truly a maverick or not, all the way down the line, to every action of his, or not, as has been the debate on him, over time, the fact remains that stepping out of line, in ways representative of taking a stand for things you believe, is often a mark, separating winners from losers. 

I wish all of you to choose being a maverick, in your own corner of the world. Rather than selling out in complacency, passivity or merely being a voyeur of what is happening now. 

One of the themes I am wanting to write on, as I am moving forward with my new “job description,” wherein I am no longer New Horizons, as my identity, and New Horizons is no longer ME, as its identity, is the subject of surviving as a winner versus a loser.

For today, I want to remind you of these words, as most eloquently stated by Thomas Paine during the time of the American Revolution --

“THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated”
My message today I hold to be completely non-partisan. It may not look that way to some because I firmly believe that Donald Trump, for all his braggadocio, even winning the election for President of the United States, is a bonafide loser.

Is it partisanship to identify dysfunctional, destructive behavior a depiction of choosing one party over another?

I hope not! Still that is a concern I need not have on this site and my Dark Side Warrior site. 

What I am thinking about most today is about the choices that we make, in handling a national crisis, as we are presently experiencing, it as well as those that we make in our personal and professional lives every day. Winners “go high.” Losers go low. To this end I will be posting, hopefully later today, an assessment of contrasting ways that “winners” and “losers” handle themselves to help support your choosing the high road.

Note to my loyal readers: In the coming days, weeks and months, as I do my best to make clear my personal voice and views separate from New Horizons, a child of my heart and soul, I will be speaking out more and more about the principles and beliefs I hold most dear, personally and professionally. Some of these may be controversial, others not. 

It is the potential for the latter, however, that, in great measure, makes the coming taking apart most important, as a non-profit organization, New Horizons must always remain apolitical. 

As for myself, I am simply “free to be me” whatever form that takes.  How good that is for a maverick like myself! 

One nation under God.
Indivisible, with liberty
and justice for all.


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