It takes a tragedy


It could’ve been me. It could’ve been someone I love. Day 6: I’m still in shock and the news coverage doesn’t make things clearer. I know people who were on board. I have friends at the frontlines working with the family of the passengers. It’s as personal as it gets.

What state are you in? What is your relationship to this incident? What do you make it all mean? Do your meanings about this bring out the best in you, or the worst? Notice that we experience our meanings through our feelings. We demonstrate what we believe by the way we show up for each other.

How will the incident affect the way you see the world? How will it affect the way you are, the way you live life from now on?

Now we are a people united by loss. As we mourn the loss of lives, we mourn the loss of trust and confidence, the loss of freedom and potential. While families and loved ones grieve, the rest of us wait and wonder. Suddenly I realize how susceptible and vulnerable we are, how inter – dependent. We are one family. These are my meanings.

What state is this country in? It feels like a 9/11: The senseless loss of innocent lives. At least they knew what happened then.

Given what is happening, what is the most important thing for us to do right now? What’s your highest vision for yourself and for your community? In the time that it will take for this country to come to terms with what’s happened and heal from this, what can you and I do to contribute? How can we make our world a safer place?

The sequence of events now unfolding is giving us glimpses of how we operate as a community. We’ve observed crisis management; leaders and government officials managing international, media, and public relations. Through tone of voice, body posture, words used and not used, associations made and avoided, meaning is given to our story.

Let’s step back. What, if changed, would really create the transformation that this community needs? What is that conversation; that if we were courageous enough to have it, would simply enhance the way we experience each other and the quality of our lives?

Notice your responses in all of this. Do your words and actions bring hope or doubt? Do they build or break?

Everyday I coach people arguing over money, hear how husbands and wives belittle each other, how we jostle for power – when there are people fighting for their lives and children go homeless and hungry. Everything is relative, isn’t it? It’s about whether we’re part of the problem or contributing to the solution.

Crisis has a way of melting the façade. Quickly we see the best and worst of human nature. By and large, it depends on whether people are coming from fear or from love. With love, there is empathy, compassion, and authenticity. From fear, we see justification, defending, blaming, and avoiding.

From what I’ve said, what are your thoughts and feelings? There are several ways to respond. [1] As the observer – I’ve reported what’s been happening and I’ve invited you to look in your own lives. [2] Personal standpoint – I’ve expressed my curiosity and how the incident has affected me. [3] As judge and jury – we can evaluate and critique how things have been handled.

As responsible global citizens I invite you to move to a place of awareness and choice. If this were an opportunity what do we want to create here? What will and won’t we live with? What part will you play in this story? Eventually what will our history be?

Think carefully as you decide. What would your vision cost you? How would you gain if things were different? Are you ready to commit to your choices? Think of the consequences.

Check against what you knew a moment ago. Would anything change?

As I reflect on the mysterious disappearance of MH370, I wonder what we are all meant to learn from this bizarre incident. Would 239 lives, the friends and family involved, search and rescue operations come to nothing? It strikes me that time has a way of making us forget what’s important.

What do we need to fight for, what do we need to let go of… if peace and understanding is the goal?

Whatever this event is teaching us… let there be humility and harmony; let it bring out the best in you and me.

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