The list of all the things for us to worry about seems to be neverending, don’t you think?
For example, as a teenager, you’re worried about fitting in and getting your parents’ approval at the same time. Now, as a parent, you’re worried about not messing your kids up and still having their approval at the same time.
As a citizen there’s always a voice in you that’s telling you that you need to pull your weight for humanity.
And as a consumer, once you start to wake up to the reality of life as you have accepted it, you start to worry about a new myriad of scary possibilities:
- Am I making the right choices?
- Is this truly equitable and ethical?
- Who is paying the price for my great bargain?
- Is there anything I can do help stop the crisis we are in globally?
Ignorance was bliss, wasn’t it?
Somewhere along the way, we accepted this subtle - yet dangerous - concept that is like a mantra we easily repeat to ourselves.
The mantra is, “I need balance”.
Like a dangling carrot, the idea of balance hangs out there in front of us, promising us that if we just keep things balanced we will find what we are looking for. All around us we are being faced with the promise of simple solutions. We are told that we deserve to not feel guilty about anything we buy or do. It’s a transaction: give me money and I will give you what you think you need without the guilt. This is the balance that we may think we need.
But getting rid of that guilt isn’t the goal, because guilt is simply a feeling. What we really want is to feel freedom in the choices we make. And the only way to gain the freedom is to take the action.
Give and take gives us anxiety because it’s a very transactional way to approach life. It never opens us up to possibilities. Give and take doesn’t allow us to ask a different question about what we are doing or who we are doing it with. It simply lets us feel justified in our choices.
Give and take is predicated on the idea that I somehow deserve whatever I am taking because I have given something in exchange for it. It never offers a conversation or a deeper understanding of the why behind what we are doing or what we have obtained.
Life can be about more than the idea of "give and take". It can also be about participating in the future you want to live in.
I have found that the only way to counter the anxiety of being human is to make the choices we want to sleep with at night.
Sometimes those choices are as simple as separating our trash and sometimes they are as monumental as running for civic leadership because you believe in the next generation.
Every great idea is still just an idea...until we put action to it. After people learn the story behind Brave Soles, many of them will say, “What a great idea!”. They are right, it is a great idea! However, we weren’t the first ones to have a great idea; we are simply the ones to step out and put shape and form to this idea.
None of us are perfect. However, despite our imperfections, the one thing we will always possess is the power of choice.
Do you have an idea that is poking you in the ribs and reminding you that "someone should do something about this"?
Change is not going to happen while we stand by and wring our hands in distress. It also won’t happen if we pretend that the future is going to be okay without our participation.
Change happens with us deciding that the first and most important way to deal with the question, “Someone should really do something about this!” is to become that someone.