A couple of years ago we were a nation brimming with hope. There was an energy rippling across the country and you could almost feel it in the air. That energy came at the right time.  We knew that we faced serious, complicated, overwhelming challenges.  But despite this, there was a rippling sense of hope, a sense that maybe, just maybe, there was a way out for us. 

It was as though cynicism and passivity were relegated to the back seat, while hope and action leaped in to the driver’s seat. 

Flash forward to now – the beginning of a new year – 2011. 

We still face serious, complicated and overwhelming challenges. And for many people nothing much feels any different, well nothing except that it appears that now cynicism and passivity may be back in the driver’s seat again. And people are wondering what we will do if things simply don’t change? And wondering if there is any chance they even still can? 

Many people are really hurting and many people are really scared.

And there is a lot of talk about what to do. And there is a lot of finger pointing and assigning of blame.

Washington is to blame, the media is to blame, as is Wall Street, Republicans, Democrats, people who didn’t vote, people who did… There is a lot of blame circulating. 

And now with our hope diminishing, we find ourselves with all of the same problems we were facing a couple of years ago, but we are a little older now and a lot more tired. But now, we are also really scared. Things aren’t changing or they aren’t changing fast enough. What do we do? Where do we place our belief? Is it even possible to get out of the hole we are in, personally and as a nation?

And the answer is, of course it is possible to get out of the hole we are in. The verdict is out as to whether we WILL take the steps needed to do so, but we certainly can.

We are resilient. We CAN do this.

It will take time and effort and focus and passion and commitment. But we CAN do it.  And some of what we can do that will have impact is actually relatively simple. But simple should not be confused with three things many Americans have come to expect, or at times demand, in choice selection. Many Americans when making a choice prefer things are 1)easy, 2)quick  and 3) cheap.

We can do this but it won’t be easy or quick or cheap. But it is relatively simple.

Having had the profound honor of personally witnessing amazing personal turn-arounds of nearly completely fractured lives, turn-arounds no one would have ever thought humanly possible, I know we can do this.

What do we do?

That depends on who we are, where we are and where we want to go. Healing and moving forward won’t look the same for any two of us, it won’t begin in the same place, require the same path, or look the same way when we get there. So what we do will look different for each of us.

We are all unique, all different. And there is beauty and strength and power in our differences. And we can employ the power of our differences and do what we need to do, to turn this country and ourselves, around.

In this time of popular “reality” shows, imagine if we all began being a player in a national “reality” show.  Gandhi said, “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”

Please join us as we begin a discussion of what we can do.

Until next time…