How often do you stand up for wrong?

How often do you speak up?

How often do you question?

And how often do you continue along your merry way, neither looking right nor left, never pushing back on what seems at face value to be unfair, irrational, or cruel?

Today in a client meeting I had the gift of listening to a devotion to kick off our gathering. The focus was complacency, with biblical reference and modern-day examples.

To do nothing sends a message that we agree with whatever is going on, she said.

This social service organization is devoted to work and ideology grounded in service and advocacy; it’s the commitment of social workers, she said, to build a career focused on working with under-served people.

But what about the rest of us?

I am not a social worker. I am an artist, a writer, an entrepreneur.

What, then, is my pledge to change the world? With whom am I working for change?

Whether we are solo or part of a large organization, it is not only one person who makes a decision to move forward or to hang back. We are a collective of humanity.

“If you see the problem, you own the problem,” she said. You cannot simply shrug it off for someone else to attend to.

But we do. We do this a lot, in fact.
We become complacent and cling to our familiar routines because we don’t want to rock the boat and risk falling into the deep, cold water.

Except sometimes that water is refreshing, a wakeup call, energizing.

Complacency is brought out by prominence and the need to maintain it, she said. Complacency prevents collaboration and partnership, taking risks, making public statements.

Standing up. Speaking out.

So how do you know if you’ve fallen prey to complacency?

You’re quick to make excuses, to identify challenges that become obstacles and barriers to moving forward.

You cling to the status quo.

You have a false sense of urgency about everything … and nothing.

And you have  no time to do anything; the busy-ness is ever-present, perhaps not strategic or meaningful.

Can we fix it? Can we re-engage? Can we begin tomorrow as if it is the first day of the rest of our lives?

Here’s how:

Be consistent in your messaging. Know what you want. Know what you believe. Live it. Let it guide you.

Work with others. Advocate for change. Speak up about what you believe in.

Identify your passion and let it guide you, for passino accompanies change.

And most of all, work for the good of others, the betterment of humanity. Stop thinking about what would make you happy. Start focusing forward on building a better community.

Better relationships.

Wholeness.

This morning was another quiet morning with gray-pink skies. The air was damp, foreshadowing afternoon rain.

I walked two miles before making my first cup of coffee. I did not plug in my music; I walked with myself, listening to the silence and the birds and the trees and the sound of my footsteps against the wet pavement.

When I returned home, my skin was warm and most, my heartbeat quick. The smile just came to my face, though there was no one to see it.

I knew it was there. I felt it. And it was the right way to start the day, in communion with my soul, in connection with the earth, a small part of something very big.

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