There was a time when I had better than 20/20 vision. Kind of like my youth, I didn’t fully appreciate it until it was gone. What if I could employ a vision statement for the year 2020? Oh, how I would want it to live up to it’s title and be perfect! But here in the real world we all know that won’t happen.
Hindsight, they say, is always 2020. Perhaps not immediately, but eventually. I have learned from most of my mistakes, have stopped repeating all but a few of them and yet I always seem to find a few new ones to make. I also embrace that mistakes equal learning and learning should be a life-long process.
What if I (or you) had the ability to create a vision statement that would really work.?
Excuse me while I deal with the twitch in my eye and onset of a headache brought on from thinking about past vision (and mission) statements. You know the ones where your work place or organization spent hours, perhaps days, coming up with the 2020/perfect vision. The same one that everyone promptly forgot with 24 hours.
Call me a pessimist, but I would start by listing the things I would like to have disappear from our world:
- Fake News
- Hate Crimes
- Power-hungry leadership
My vision statement isn’t new or even innovative. It’s beauty is in it’s simplicity. Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.
What happened that made so many of us forget that treating others with respect and dignity is in no way a validation of their behavior, language or actions? Intelligent, two way conversations are a great teaching and learning tool. We can disagree and still be civil, even friends when both parties work at it. By intelligent I mean that everyone gets to be heard, everyone listens and everyone accepts that the other person/people may not be swayed to believe as you do. Wasn’t our country founded on such ideals?
So what can I do? What can anyone do?
I can try to be better. I can try to live my life in a way that makes me proud and avoid things that have strong potential of ending with regret whenever possible.
I can do my best to investigate news and weed out the fake information. To do this I will not rely on one source for information which means I must dedicate time to research. I will not buy into word of mouth accounts until I do my homework. This also means that I will work to be an informed voter. I will try to see the whole picture and never vote for a candidate just because of their party affiliation.
I can speak up, when in conversation, people say things that in small or large ways supports dehumanizing others. I can also walk away when someone tries to dehumanize me, but only after I tell them why I am leaving.
I may be retired, but I still have regular contact with many young people. I can try to lead by example. When opportunity presents itself I can share with them how the best leaders don’t intimidate but focus on bringing out the best in each member of their team. Good leaders realize that none of us is as smart as all of us.
I can value people even when others may judge me negatively for my association with people they may deem as “less than”. I will try to remember that Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela lived this way and that if I can be even a little bit more like these people it will be worth the effort.
I can try and when I fail I can apologize if needed, learn and then try again.
Happy New Year dear friends and followers.
Photo credits and appreciation to David Travis, Sharon McCutcheo, History in HD, kelly Sikkeman and Suzanne Pogue
I appreciate your comments, emails and sharing of my blog.