Greetings friends and family, allies and foes, haters and up-lifters; happy new year.
As we enter 2011 and exit 2010, I reflect upon this past year and the greatness that has occurred in my life. I stand humbled, thankful, reflective, and overwhelmingly excited about what is in front of me for the coming year. My family is well, my children are healthy, and the future is bright.
I am looking forward with great anticipation to this next year, however as I look around this world I observe what is going on from a global, national, state, regional, city, community, and home perspective; I, in the midst of all of this excitement and optimism, am somewhat apprehensive, and afraid of what I see.
2008 marked a time of great hope, transition, challenge and change for the United States of America. We were all spellbound by the feelings that ran through our bodies as we elected America’s first president of color. As we worked on trying to solve these large human issues ( i.e. Social Security, healthcare, the wars overseas, the economy, the near depression), we were faced with huge adaptive challenges. Challenges and issues that brought about tribalism at its best. We saw the birth of a tea party, a green party, a common sense party, party crashers, and a “the rent is too damn high party”.
All of these factions and tribes were created because of the dissonance and disconnection between the lives of individuals and leaders. The most dangerous party of those that arose out of this time of great change and challenge was “the party of “NO”. For generations, the party of no has sent out invitations to all of us for membership. Every day, every moment of our lives presents new challenges where we face and wrestle with our most innate human traits, “fight or flee”.
As we look at ourselves, our humanity, our fears, and our inadequacies; we began to become afraid of the totally of all that is in front of us, all that we don’t know, and all that we cannot see. And instead of doing the work of leadership, we turn onto chicken drive and stay there. Instead of tackling the issues of the day we just have learned to say no. No to our dreams, no to are ambitions, no to the best in us. Instead we respond in the affirmative to the worst in us.
It has been interesting to observe the “leaders” who bring no ideas to the table except those that would cause dissension. It has been nearly frightening to watch those in leadership display cowardice and confusion as strategies to change the world. On the issues that matter to people the most (like the economy, healthcare, and national security) we have found nothing but baseless dissent, and childhood measuring contests (men, you know what i’m saying!) These strategies employed by authority figures have become “weapons of mass confusion” as Dr. Cornell West would put it.
Well, these times of great challenge call for leaders who will do the work. Leaders who will mobilize people and say those things that aren’t necessarily popular or financially gainful. This is the time for those who will be courageous, those who clearly understand that leadership is not a comfortable place but a place of action.
I am deciding for 2011 to refuse membership into the party of no. I refuse to allow fear to derail my purpose in this life.
I refuse to allow factions to be formed in my own mind and heart that would fight against moving this community, this family, this life that God has given me to the place it was destined to be.
The party of no has no place in my life and I refuse to avoid the work of making this world a better place.
I have no illusions that the journey without the party is difficult. I have no illusions that it will be difficult to stay in the fight. However my own life history has taught me that quitting, saying no, being divisive, and allowing my own insecurities and immaturities to rule my life is a sure recipe for disaster.
As you reflect and vision into the new year please make certain that whatever party you decide to join; the party of no is excluded from your choices.
God’s Best for you in 2011!