I asked my brother, a Franciscan Friar, on a recent podcast episode, “How do you make sense of everything going on in our world?”
His response? “I don’t think we can make sense of it while we’re here on earth.”
When I asked him this question, I was referring to the virus. Lately, there’s been even more going on in the world.
My goal in writing posts and blogs is always simple: to give you strategies to help you be your best; to help you Outperform.
But, sometimes, you have to speak what’s on your heart.
I barely slept the last two nights. Admittedly, I did a poor job of “managing my inputs,” because I spent the nights glued to CNN, watching my city of Minneapolis–the city I LOVE and will always call home–being burned to the ground.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The majority of the looting and rioting was 4 miles from my condo.
Please know, what happened to George Floyd was despicable. It was, hands down, one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever had to watch on video. No one is happier than me that the officer is in custody, charged with third-degree murder. I hope the other officers are held similarly accountable.
I also cannot understand how looting, rioting and burning down buildings makes the situation any better. In an already depressed economy, it’s going to be even harder for some of these struggling communities to get back on their feet. I believe voices can be heard through peaceful protests.
The more I study and analyze great leaders, the more I appreciate and recognize the value of empathy.
Empathy is not feeling badly for someone. It’s also not echoing the token line, “I know what it’s like to be you.”
You don’t know what it’s like to be someone. Neither do I.
Empathy is doing your very best to UNDERSTAND someone. To share their feelings.
In my case, I don’t have the first clue what it’s like to be black and the potential struggles of living in America. I grew up in Albany, MN, population 1700, and there was not a single African-American in the entire town. Not one. I’m well aware that, in the baseball game of life, I was born on second base.
In my blunt opinion, right here, right now, we do a terrible job of trying to understand one another.
I see it every day on social media. In our highly-charged overly-politicized world, everything is bipolar. It’s either left or right. The economy. The science. The MASKS. Everything.
And after hearing, watching, or reading something contrary to our beliefs, instead of saying, “I don’t necessarily agree with you, but please help me to understand why you feel this way?” we form judgments about the person and cast aspersions against them.
That is not how we heal in our communities, cities and as a country. It is not how we grow. It’s not how we lead. It’s not how we Outperform.
Be understanding and be good to each other. Let’s strive to make the world a better place.