Our world needs people who can lead positive change!
It requires unshakable vision, grit and character. Recently I’ve been watching a story develop in the U.S. that is worth studying – Even if you don’t live there.
For those that aren’t aware of this story, this is a quick look at the facts:
Colin Kapernick is a professional football player that recently decided to exercise some of the freedom our country grants everyone.
He decided to stay seated during our national anthem, as the rest of the stadium stood and honored our flag and our country.
Colin says he is protesting because, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
His decision created a lot of heated debate with some people criticizing his patriotism, some people defending his right to protest and others applauding his reason for protesting.
It did not take long to discover that Colin chose to wear socks with pictures of pigs in police uniforms during practice, which caused more debate.
A short time later he met with a Nate Boyer, a former Green Beret Soldier and professional football player with his own passion for freeing the oppressed. Their conversation resulted in Colin’s decision to kneel; instead of sitting the next time the National Anthem was played.
Colin has also indicated that he will donate $1 Million to help those affected by police injustices.
Lessons for Change Leaders:
As many of you know, I’m living in a part of the world where many freedoms that I once took for granted – don’t exist. -Now don’t get me wrong I agreed to move here, to seek first to understand and to learn. So I’m not complaining. …But I absolutely must share what I’m learning.
Have you ever considered that…
- In countries where sharing research and opinions puts liberty and lives at risk – citizens are being taught that it is safer not to think
- In countries that allow freedom of speech, traditional journalists have done so much of the work for citizens – that we’ve allowed ourselves to become lazy thinkers
- Dialogue is a way for us to seek truth, gain new perspectives, build relationships, and solve problems
- Dialogue is also a freedom that many take for granted
Last night right before I went to bed, I learned about the shooting deaths of 3 more police officers – this time in Baton Rouge. It is heart-breaking and tempting to feel helpless, as angry people continue to destroy lives and rock our world with bombings, shootings, and even trucks.
This time felt even more personal, as I used to live in Baton Rouge and drove and worked where the shooting took place. And in the time I was there, I fell deeply in love with the people, the city and the state of Louisiana.
I woke early this morning and immediately checked the news for updates and prayed.
A short time later, I was reminded that exactly three years ago today I posted an article about pain and anger as I tried to process the Trevon Martin case.
- Three more years of conflict.
- Three more years of finger pointing and blaming.
Clearly – What we’re doing isn’t working, as the conflicts are becoming more frequent and more violent.
I’ve been working with a group of pre and early teens and we’ve been talking about perceptions and reality. In our last meeting, I asked if they have ever greeted someone and not been greeted in return. Emphatically – yes!
So I broke them up into small groups and asked them to come up with a list of at least 15 reasons why someone they greeted would not respond.
At first they listed things like this:
- They hate me
- They are mean
- They are rude
- They are a bully
- They are racist
It took awhile for them to start coming up with reasons like this:
When my husband said we were asked to move to a giant sandbox on the other side of the world my stomach churned so hard I had to sit down.
How was this possible? We said we would go ANYWHERE in the world except – THERE! Scenes from movies and the news melded with my own fears and questions were fired off so rapidly my husband could not reply.
A “yes” wasn’t possible if I could not change my thinking:
- From the losses to the possible gains.
- From the challenges to the possible opportunities.
- From fear to faith.