Making transformation last or letting it go and then starting over
An opening for love was present in Congress after the shooting at the baseball field where Republican Congress people and staff were practicing for their game against the Democrats. At the Capitol and at the White House, there was a somber mood, preceded by shock, then condolences and love and a commitment to harmony and affinity in the midst of disagreement about policy.
Compromise and coming to decisions for our country–that’s the job of leadership.
At first I was thinking I could write about making transformation last, but it doesn’t, just like everything else: objects, political parties in the majority, good moods, bad moods, marital bliss.
Transformation exists over time by our continuing to create it. We create it in conversations for a new human being, a new relationship, making new vows and promises. We create it and recreate it. We apologize for where we fell short of our commitment, and will fall again, to be the kind of human being we want to be.
In AA where the slogan for sobriety is “one day at a time,” my friend with 35 years of sobriety has 12,775 days at a time. That is how transformation exists over time. Working it out, reinventing it every day.
I heard very few expressions of blame over the few days after the shooting–none of the usual, “It is this way because of those people,” or “They are wrong.” Mostly I heard, “Let’s work together,” and “This is either nobody’s fault, or all of our fault.”
We are the leaders we have been waiting for. If Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi called us today and said, “Will you help us have and sustain a transformation?” What would we do? Where would we begin?
Ask David Brooks to be our journalist to document the process. Ask to meet with Fox News and MSNBC to engage their leaders in the possibility of this project and the newspapers too.
Have people sign up to participate and be the ones, even devote their careers to this transformation. Create mindfulness practices. Create listening practices. Create practices for “truth and reconciliation” and deep apology. Have gratitude practices. Begin and end each meeting with expressions of gratitude for each other’s service.
Create vows for partnership and having each other’s back and for having respect. Develop the skill to disagree and respect at the same time. Bring church leaders, Muslim leaders, Jewish leaders together to pray and preach and ask their congregations to get engaged in giving up dinner table gossip about “the other side” and how wrong they are. Bring corporate CEOs to the table to do the same.
There is no reason for this discord other than maybe it is the nature and cycle of humanity. Rome fell and we can too. Maybe this is a natural phenomenon.
Or maybe this is an opportunity to invent or create what has never happened before–create a world based on love, taking lessons from Bhutan on building our Gross National Happiness.