“Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.” ~Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Are you fighting for a cause? Do you want to effect change or transformation in your community?
Reflect upon these insightful words by Oprah Winfrey: “Everyone who’s protesting today could benefit from seeing the STRATEGIC INTENTION that had to happen in order for real progress to be made. You have to have a clear strategic intention of what it is you’re trying to achieve. And you cannot he beard unless you come in PEACE!” ~Oprah Winfrey on the movie ‘SELMA’ – about the civil rights protests led by Martin Luther King.
(Off topic, I watched Selma today and I highly recommend it to everyone: white, black, red and brown! It is a metaphoric and symbolic depiction of the power of planned, sustained and well implemented struggle. The lessons are valuable for life, civil society, business and governance..)
Recently, events around race issues, terrorism and other socio-economic challenges around the world, have brought to fore the power of the message of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It has also ignited a spark, especially among the younger generation, who engage and participate in the discussions about these controversial issues (both offline and online). This post is targeted to change agents, catalysts of transformation and anyone out there who is challenging and asking questions about the present undesirable status quo. Here are some pointers to engage and inspire you as you continue with these necessary debates.
This is not the time for senseless, angry, directionless demonstrations, protests or utterances. In social media, offline and energetically, avoid being all over the place; FOCUS on developing, crafting and sharing your concise message. And you have to be very strategic and tactical in your action steps. Not every battle is worth engaging in, pick your fights wisely.
Become aware of the people and space you surround yourself with. You’ll be invited by a lot of people who are ‘experts in the art of arguments’, to engage in the ‘I’m right’ and ‘you’re wrong’ discussions or debates. The temptation will be to engage; argue with, be defensive or react to them.
Please, do NOT lend your energy to anything that would distract you from your purpose and/or detract from your message. Decline to attend ‘ego-based argument parties.’ They are a waste of your time and take you farther away from your dreams and goals of creating change! Let go of the attachment to proving you are ‘right’ and focus on the outcomes you desire.
Only go where people are genuinely committed and open to working together to find concrete solutions. Blaming and finger pointing are the easy part, taking RESPONSIBILITY and actually doing something requires that you LEAD and empower both yourself and others with a new way of thinking and BEING. More than ever, this is the time to ‘BE the change you seek’ a la Ghandi!
People may throw labels at you, make generalized assumptions, delete or distort your message, let them be. Everyone creates and projects their inner world unto the world around them in order to find their own resolutions or answers.
Take your learnings from their opinions after weighing them but never take it personal or allow yourself to get sucked into the drama of other people’s opinions. Our belief systems are different. Do you and let others do them too! Sometimes, people take two seemingly different, yet valid approaches to achieve the same aim. Have clarity on your ‘why’ and be aligned with your personal values and deeper principles.
Understand that ALL human beings have universals needs; a need for love, stability, acceptance, significance, to be heard, to be a part of a community, to be acknowledged,…This may be manifested in either healthy or unhealthy ways.
Focus on the reason behind the reasons, i.e. the ROOT CAUSES of behaviour in order to change and replace the strategies with healthier options.
Separating people from their behaviour takes the judgement out, gifts your thinking process with a degree of neutrality and allows for behavioural flexibility, which creates a sacred space for deep and sustainable transformation to occur (in both yourself and others). Remember the law of Requisite Variety -the most flexible person in the room controls the room and the system!
In order to change people’s model of the world, you may need to enter it, acknowledge it and explore it, (without necessarily accepting it). All things work together for good. Read the metaphors and parables in the bible and other holy books. They are rich with models of how to renew souls and spirits from the very source, with sublime wisdom and subtlety of language!
Be open to different perspectives and respect everyone right to their approach and points of views, however, have CLARITY on your own message and build up communities that create measurable progress by giving everyone a voice. It is in the respectful exchange of ideas that creative solutions are birthed.
Talk is cheap, create spaces that foster critical reasoning, experiential leadership development and progressive thinking, by putting your resources where your mouth is. Be very strategic towards your vision. I cannot emphasize this enough.
Take time to engage with people on a one-on-one basis and take deeper conversations offline (via phone or face-to-face), so that the right intentions are established and thus, more solutions proffered. INTENTION governs everything! Become more aware of why and how you argue with, speak to, think about, and act towards others.
Whatever is buried deep unconsciously always finds a way to the surface. Pay attention to not only what you/others say, but also WHY and HOW it is said. As the Holy books teach, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Ask yourself, “what is my heart really filled with?” Remember to be more aware of your emotional guidance scale.
First think and speak subjectively, then re-frame yourself and then think and speak objectively (without the charge of your emotions). This exercise, when applied towards all decision-making processes, especially when tempers are running high or with controversial topics, allows one to behave differently in a way that is empowering rather than dis-empowering.
As a mentor of mine aptly puts it: “When emotions are high, intelligence is low.” Avoid being a slave to your emotions. Let’s become more aware of where we are at any given time, on the emotional guidance scale and learn to channel the force of our emotions constructively and with intentions 🙂
In conclusion, in order to effect sustainable and wide-reaching change, it is imperative to have clarity on both your driving intentions and expected outcomes, develop a clear strategic plan, build strategic bridges and alliances with others and be consistent in the implementation of your plans.
It is also important to have buffers, structures, systems and built-in processes, in order to encourage measurable metrics, constant feedback, re-strategizing and continuos improvement.
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable…Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” ~Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Be social! Read | Comment | Share |
-Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido, MBA
Poet | Master-Certified Leadership Coach-Trainer -Consultant|
Raising A New Generation of Empowered, Transformational and Creative African Leaders.
~Take empowered ACTION towards a Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier YOU!~
The preceding is a guest post from Juliet Ume, MBA –Co-Founder and Executive Director at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is the author of the upcoming books: “UN-Locking Your HeArt of Leadership” and “Today, I Will Not Bow”.
A self-described Life-Connoisseur, who loves life and the whole human experience, Juliet was nicknamed a ‘Reminderist’, [one who reminds us of that which we already know; that we are not fractured or broken and NOW is the perfect time to replace that fallacy with a new, beautiful truth: we are worthy, empowered, complete, whole creatures and our life journey is to return to wholeness]!
She is a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Leadership, Investment & Financial Literacy for women and youth (especially girls). Her mission is simply to engage, educate and empower women, regardless of their levels of income or background, to return to ‘wholeness’ and live Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier Lives using Faith-based, Scientific and Universal (Common-Sense) principles!
Her message is simply: “To use the power of written-spoken-sung WORDS to connect, heal, empower, change and transform our inner and outer worlds. Words have power in the meaning and interpretation we choose to give them and all of life is synchronistic poetry in motion! Are you telling empowering stories about yourself and others?”