There is something oddly uncomfortable happening. Do you see it? Can you feel it?
Donald Trump is President-Elect of the United States.
Thousands are making their voices heard for the support of the protectors of water, the Indigenous People, in North Dakota.
Ordinary citizens are raising petitions, attending city council meetings and writing their politicians to stop companies like Nestle from owning public water sources.
Young people in the US are massing together in protests after the US election demanding social change.
At the same time we are witnessing an increase in outward racism, bigotry, homophobia, sexism and misogyny – in both Canada and the US.
The political far-right is gaining popularity in many countries such as France.
There is a polarization of societal values happening on a global scale which we’ve never experienced before. It is on public display, out in the open for all to see.
But what can you do as an individual when there is so much upheaval going on around you? It can be overwhelming when so much that is happening is out of your control. Where do you start? How can one person make a difference?
If you truly want to make a difference in the world, start by changing you.
No more skirting around the issues. No more ignoring them or being too busy to think about the challenges that face us all. It’s time to accept what is really going on.
Start by taking an inventory as to who you are versus who you want to be. You begin by accepting that you are responsible for your character, values and what you believe authenticity and integrity look like. Ultimately it’s a choice you have to make. Who is that person you aspire to be?
The polarized set of societal values are becoming clear, taking shape between two options:
- Separation, judgment, hatred, oppression, violence, greed and fear OR
- Inclusion, acceptance, compassion, empathy, kindness, generosity and love.
The reality is that you can slide between these two as you do your best to live in this complex world. But which choice is your goal? What are you striving to model for your friends, family, community and yourself? What is the example that you want humanity to follow?
You are accountable for deciding your core values – fear or love, violence or kindness, hatred or compassion, separation or inclusion.
These values make up your character and your character can only be tested in trying times. And trying times these are indeed…
It’s up to you. It’s up to me. It’s up to each of us.
Not making a choice or ignoring what is going on is making a choice – for separation, judgment, hatred, oppression, violence, greed and fear.
We are each required to make a conscious choice. This is free will and free will comes with a price – of owning our choices and being accountable for them.
This is where many people back down because it can be damn uncomfortable to speak up, speak out and hold yourself and others accountable for our choices. It’s time for your thoughts, words and actions to be congruent. Once they are, you will experience a sense of peace within yourself.
The next step is to take action by aligning yourself with people, communities, groups and causes that support your values.
This is the most important decision you have to make right now and every day going forward. It is imperative for you to choose what you stand for or someone else will choose for you.
It’s time to stop running and hiding or distracting yourself from what’s going on. Lines are being drawn. Armed with awareness it’s time for you to answer the question of which side you’re on.
This is what you can do to make a difference in the world. You cast your vote for the world you want by choosing your character. So much is hanging in the balance…
This article originally appeared on Rick Fortier’s Blog
Photo credit: Getty Images