Monday, December 17, 2012


On December 13, 2012 I was taking part in a monthly leadership group.  No one knew at this time what horrors would unfold 24 hours later in Newtown , CT.  Our topic for our morning lecture was based on the idea of contradiction and creativity.  We explored how they have a yin/yang relationship, and how upon further inspection, contradiction holds within it tremendous value.  This seemed obvious to me immediately, but before this lecture the idea had been totally outside of my awareness.

What I was realizing was that I had always couched contradiction in terms of disrespect.  I had automatically aligned my thinking here.  The result of this little assumed thought was that whenever someone contradicted me, I struggled because I was coming from a place of insecurity.  An outside idea that contradicted my thinking somehow threatened me because of all the personal meaning I had attached to it.

It occurred to me suddenly during that lecture that contradiction is nothing more than two separate realities at play.  There is nothing to take personally about that.  There is nothing to be insecure about.  From this viewpoint the big picture was more clear.  Contradiction from this non-personal viewpoint actually creates an opportunity to listen to each other and create something new.  In essence, if contradictions can be seen less personally they are invitations for creativity and new perspective.  Contradictions only feel bad when we are attached to our personal thinking!

Our instructor pointed out two quotes on this day...two quotes that now stand out in a different way.  They are as follows:
"Sometimes you get what you want, but it's not what you need." ~ Stevie Nicks 
"The pursuit of truth is a destructive process." ~ Author Unknown
These quotes could not be more relevant than they are now as our leaders and policy makers are called on to address mass shootings, mental health care & gun control issues in our nation.  At such a difficult time...such a time of national and international heart break, I am using my energies to be hopeful and vocal about the kind of insights our leaders need to be functioning from at this time.

What if our leaders could function from an understanding of contradiction and creativity?  What if they could see that our disagreements on gun control, mental health, media violence, etc could be seen as an opportunity to create something new...something that serves as a proper tribute and legacy to the families in Newtown?  What if we were collectively so moved by this devastation that we let go of the personal tight-hold we have on these issues?  What if we, as average citizens, decided to lead by example and did not settle for less from our leaders?  Could this impersonal kind of thinking, where we all reach for something deeper rather than focusing on being right or getting our way, be contagious?

The answer to this last question is yes & there is so much potential here at this time.  We have listeners right now...listeners who are the leaders of our nation.  I urge each of you to be moved by the wisest part of you!  This is not a time to be quiet and afraid.  This is a time to listen to the insights that come to you, and then respond passionately & with purpose.  We can do so much better & we need to for each family in Newtown.  Little things add a leader at this time.  Be the kind of leader you want to see in our leaders.

The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, 
but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.
~ John Buchan