Somewhere After The Rainbow (Moving Beyond Profile Pics)

After the events of the past week in the US – the marriage equality ruling and the Charleston hate crime – I have been wondering what can *I* personally do to help effect positive change. This is new territory for me. I’m grateful for Pastor John Pavlovitz’s suggestion:

“Laws and amendments and judicial rulings can change policy, but only relationships can alter people. I’m inviting those with rainbow profile photos (and those who echo their sentiments) to engage those of differing opinions, who are willing to have a conversation; not a public, passive-aggressive volleying of Scripture quotes and personal jabs and article shares, but an honest, open, fully vulnerable exchange.

That’s the only way we move forward from here, the only way we can fashion something deeper and more lasting and more worthy of co-owning.”

john pavlovitz

Rainbow Heart

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Marriage finally came down last week—and both Hell and Heaven broke loose, depending on your perspective.

Exhilaration soon followed for those seeing this as a long overdue victory for civil marital equality, while outrage reigned for religious folks believing it to be the final nail in the coffin of Biblical Matrimony.

And there was of course, a flurry of sentiments from both sides on social media; effusive celebration and grief-laden hand wringing flying in as fast as your browser could refresh.

Yet nothing in all of those eloquent words from either side, spoke as clearly and loudly as the brilliant prismatic display of love and affirmation found in the rainbow profile photos now dominating timelines worldwide. That’s been the most visible, most revelatory element of the past week, with over 26 million people already choosing to “Amen” the Supreme Court’s decision using their own images.

Perhaps the most telling aspect, is that these multicolored flags haven’t just been flown by the LGBT…

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One More Rainbow

Image source: @BarackObama

Image source: @BarackObama

I felt so much joy seeing all the rainbows filling up my Internet feeds today. I clicked “like” on the news stories and expressions of joy and support for marriage equality. At first, I didn’t re-share any of the stories or images. Sometimes I’ll re-share a news story in order to get the word out, in case someone might have missed the news. In this case, I seriously doubted anyone had missed this news, regardless of their opinion on the issue. I also felt that, because “likes” are visible, people following me could – and would – see that I was “liking” the news of today’s ruling. I thought, “Do people really need to see one more rainbow, supplied by me?”

And then I remembered something I read a few days ago, related to the Charleston hate crime and the continued work we as a society need to do to fight racism. Karen Walrond invites us to Say Something:

…if you truly want to fight racism, then please, speak out against racism.  Make it clear, in your own words — not just retweeting or resharing the words of Jon Stewart or someone else — tell folks how you feel.  Take a stand, for heaven’s sake.  (But then, after you’ve done that, do freely share articles and posts and links to organizations that fight racism. Amplify, amplify, amplify. Because frankly, those of us who are of colour need white voices to help amplify the cause.)

After remembering Karen’s words, I did make a start by re-sharing a rainbow image celebrating marriage equality. But I realized that my own words were missing. Here they are:

I am so happy that the freedom to marry* is now legal for same-sex couples across the nation! I have seen the hurtful effects of discrimination of all kinds – individual, legal, and institutionalized. I have often wondered, lamented, and felt hopeless about the possibility of change. Today’s ruling shows that change CAN happen. It is proof of hopefulness and perseverance in the face of hate, exclusion, and daunting odds. 

And I can hear the mental tapes of my childhood upbringing saying, “Don’t post a rainbow online! What if someone targets you?” To those voices, I say, “Just think if I were gay. Would you still tell me to hide?”

Time to celebrate!!
#lovewins #marriageequality #NOH8 #chooselove #onefamily #diversity #inclusion

*Great post here on the difference between “right to marry” and “freedom to exercise that right”

Image credit: @BarackObama https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/614459251126173697

Priorities

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“I am often struck by the fact that the modern world is full of affected knowledge & information that, when you get right down to it, is only relevant to the extent we grant it relevance. We have become very good at procuring & prioritizing things that are not fundamentally all that important – cars and computers and cell phones come to mind – even as we have become less good at providing for ourselves the things that are downright essential: Food. Shelter. Water. Warmth.” -Ben Hewitt

This quote speaks to my Luddite heart.
Seen via Falan Storm on Instagram.

Obvious to you. Amazing to others. ~ by Derek Sivers

This is an oldie and SO, so good. I was reminded of this message the other day and enjoyed getting a chance to watch it again.

And another gift!! In grammar school, we did a class project where groups of kids would draw basic internal anatomy – lungs, heart, etc. I was assigned the brain. There was no way I was going to draw those life-like creases and folds, so my brain was “static hairball brain”. I was teased and still remember it, haha!!!! And then I saw the “my ideas” graphic in this video.

#happy #love

Learning from the Red Bull… Tom Peters style

tom-peters

I love this interview from Tom Peters. I’ve spent most of my sabbatical reading, so it sure feels nice to get Tom’s stamp of approval on that! 😉

Feel free to click through and read the interview for yourself. If you’d like the summary version, here are some of my favorite sound bytes:

“beating the drum for personal meaning and significance… it’s not about accumulating wealth or getting promoted to the top”

During my time off, I’ve been spending a lot of time exploring what is meaningful to me, and discovering the importance of my “I want” power (a la The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal).

“If you’re a leader, your whole reason for living is to help human beings develop—to really develop people and make work a place that’s energetic and exciting and a growth opportunity, whether you’re running a Housekeeping Department or Google… if you don’t get off on [helping people], do the world a favor and get the hell out before dawn”

Such a great sentiment. The best managers I had fall into this camp. People, development, and relationships first. Addressing performance and meeting milestones are more meaningful within the context of caring management.

“any idiot with a high IQ can invent a great strategy. What’s really hard is fighting against the unwashed masses and pulling it off—although there’s nothing stupider than saying change is about overcoming resistance. Change is about recruiting allies and working each other up to have the nerve to try the next experiment…

You bring [about change] one person at a time, face to face—when we discover we have some common interests and we’re both pissed off, say, at too many CEOs who talk about charts and boxes. And so we create a conspiracy. It’s a subversive act, and being coconspirators in a subversive act requires trust and intimacy.”

BOOM – there it is. As I always say, business is personal. Relationship, allies, like-minded people, trust, and intimacy. You don’t get to these places without getting personal: sharing of yourself and being open and interested in others.

“We tend to confuse 5 percent of leading-edge companies with the entire economy. And that’s a real problem. It’s also important to recognize that there’s Silicon Valley and then there’s ROP, Rest of Planet. The fact that Google and Facebook might be doing this or that particular thing is interesting, but they don’t exactly employ all four billion of the working people in the world.”

Great perspective and reminder. Living in the footprint of Silicon Valley, looking at what the tech giants and the startups are doing, it’s so easy to forget about ROP, the rest of the normal people out there, and how we can be serving the wider population.

“[per] former US labor secretary Bob Reich… put more women in management. They know how to do a work-around. Men don’t know how to do work-arounds… The male response is, “I can’t do anything about it ’cause my boss is really against it.” And the female response, by and large, would be, “Well, I know Jane who knows Bob who knows Dick, and we can get this thing done.” They do it circuitously.”

Wow. Good on ya, Robert Reich and Tom Peters! Women have had to work harder to get things done. We work around the systemic obstacles. We rely on connection and relationship to move work forward.

Where does relationship and getting personal fall in your work and leadership priorities?

Image credit: tompeters.com