From Division, Unity: Finding the Strength to Act with Wisdom, Courage, and Compassion

I will be open – I am personally broken-hearted at the result of the US presidential election.  I am especially broken-hearted over the divisiveness, anger, hurt and overwhelming frustration that is the emotional state of the country that I both believe in and love.

I am grateful that I have had the privilege of participating in the International Symposium for Contemplative Studies this week. As I write this, I have just come from a talk entitled “Moving Together from Colorblindness to ColorInsight: Contemplative Inquiry, Research and Practice in the Work of Transformative Justice” by Rhonda V. Magee, JD.  In her moving, powerful talk, Ms. Magee challenged us with questions not easily answered.  Questions such as:

  • What are the justice issues that animate our work?
  • What is our role in furthering social justice?
  • Do we have the will to act to alleviate suffering?
  • Do we recognize who is suffering now? And why they are suffering?
  • How do we address and alleviate suffering?
  • Do we look into people’s eyes, greet people – do we listen, really hear and work to stay open?
  • What ethically guides our way forward?
  • How do we enact the choice not to be blind anymore?
  • What are the blind spots that we all carry, and who is being left behind as a result?
  • What is the work for each of us?

If you are like me, when you read these questions you feel a tremble of self-consciousness.  The world is in a hurting place and it is so easy to rail against something outside of ourselves for the causes.  But as I sat in that presentation I was once again reminded of the personal responsibility I have to grow in wisdom, courage and compassion and to ACT with wisdom, courage and compassion.

Ms. Magee reminded us that we all live in bubbles where we can reinforce our own points of view and – because of our self-imposed insulation – we are shocked when we discover there are large groups of people whose bubbles are completely different from our own. It is time for us to step out of our own worldview, our own biases, our own judgments and harsh recriminations and finally do the work we are called to do.

There is no room for hate or division when we are practicing wisdom, courage and compassion, but there is much room for purposeful action.

How are wisdom, courage and compassion calling you to action?


TriciaNaddaff

Tricia Naddaff is the President at Management Research Group, and works extensively with MRG’s worldwide network of clients providing support, education, consulting and coaching to assist in their development and selection work with individuals and organizations around the world. Tricia has been consulting with individuals, teams and organizations for over 25 years.


About the author

As president of MRG, Tricia uses her penchant for bursting into song and bringing out the best in people in approximately equal measure.

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Robert CornettHans Suhsuzanne mcmichaelSue CoyneDiane Dunton Recent comment authors
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Jef Brouwers
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Jef Brouwers

Wisdom runs short these days because ‘a type who should have been extinct for ages’ has attained the presidency is proof that human nature doesn’t evolve. (Henry Adams – The education of Henry adams). History doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes (Mark Twain). More and more we emphasize on minor differences. People need loads of courage not to vote for their own well being. People who promise haven on earth are dangerous. I am from the anxious generation. Many elderly people voted for themselves and their stuff, preserving their own wellbeing. NOT ENOUGH EMPATHY ANYMORE. But I stay very positive… Read more »

Joe Weiss
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Joe Weiss

Tricia, a thoughtful and meaningful statement. Thank you

Diane Dunton
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Diane Dunton

Thank you for sharing.

Sue Coyne
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Sue Coyne

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. And, the questions to fuel our reflection and action.

suzanne mcmichael
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suzanne mcmichael

An introspective piece. Thank you for sharing.

Hans Suh
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Hans Suh

Thanks for your kind sharing your thought.

Robert Cornett
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Robert Cornett

Tricia – thanks for these thoughts and insightful questions. Very timely and poignant. Yes many of us are broken hearted by the election and the divisiveness and hate that have been evoked in our population. For me wisdom is calling me to do deeper reflection on what is working itself out in our collective consciousness and unconscious. People are hurting and are fed up with our governmental leaders and have responded to a leadership voice that promised to shake things up. Regardless of where people fall on the political spectrum most feel a deep need for fundamental change in the… Read more »