If I look at the arc of my life there is no question that I am here to be the grit in the oyster that produces a pearl called integrity.
Like many over used words, most people have never really considered what it means. How easy it is to brandish around words that express some great and noble purpose, like arms flailing on a rag doll, no substance behind them.
Talk is cheap. And in our time, talk has become so cheap that we actually do not trust anyone…we must have an army of lawyers because we have more faith in the potential that the person you are working with will lie and cheat than in the slim possibility that they may actually BE their word.
I will name the little atrocities. I will hold people to account. I will be held to account.
In recent times I have recognised that the act of doing this, of calling out the micro and macro transgressions that people and organisations commit on a daily/hourly basis is a rare rare act. So rare that when you find a fellow human who does the same there is a connectivity established, a co-valent bond that is stronger than any flimsy transactional relationship. Solid. Locked in.
Our people, our tribe of truth tellers, are rare.
How did we get here? How did we become easy liars and cheats and backstabbers and morally bankrupted? How did it become the norm for mistrust, and the exception for TRUST?
How did alternative facts actually become part of our lexicon?
Seriously, ask yourself this question?
It happened on our watch. And it happened because we all are complicit by silence.
History…do we learn? 6 million people did not willingly walk to the gas chambers without the collusion and complicity of many. Including the Jewish people. Hannah Arendt covers this act of little atrocities of her own people in her work that has unsurprisingly become popular again this last year.
We have sat by and watched as our politicians have become progressively mired in deceit and lies. As our captains of industry have condoned rape and pillage of our earth, our communities, our people, our animals, while becoming bloated on salaries that defy imagination.
And yes, there are a host of reasons why we would be complicit. Fear of being shot? Reasonable in Nazi Germany, or Syria. Fear of being outcast by our tribe? Of being shamed? Rejected? Blamed? Human fears that hold most of us hostage to some degree.
We name people whistle blowers, and we throw them in prison, or outcast them. For daring. Daring, to tell the truth? For naming he or she who will not be named. Harry Potter anyone?
Yet if we dig deep within our hearts we want the truth tellers. We want someone to break us out of our collective trance. We want the hero. The other. The risk taker. Let it be him or her, JUST not me.
We need the first to act. The BOLD voice. The courageous one. That one brave someone who takes the first stand. Who risks everything…everything…for truth/integrity and love of humanity.
The Edwards and Chelsea’s. The Harry’s and Jon Snow’s.
In my home territory, my life’s arc, I am furious, enraged, by espoused organisations who claim to be about human transformation and yet they treat their own human team with inhumanity.
Where the whiplash of dissonance between the espoused and the acted creates nausea.
Where the inside gossip is we are family. (For indeed it is gossip. Loose lips and empty platitudes to gain points on some mythical score board posturing as sincerity.) Yet the action is that a few will do what it takes to preserve their security for the aspirational betterment of some future humanity, while others are thrown, without a backward glance, into the cold.
Some future betterment for humanity, some out there..external other…yet it is impossible to treat the very people that make up the organisation with any humanity at all? What kind of delusional thinking is this? How can we even begin to equate treating others with humanity when we stab our own in the back?
Where to speak to these discarded others, those out in the cold, is forbidden, because it might make a mess in the legal department if we do.
AKA…if we treat those we throw away as humans, we might get in trouble with the law?
How did we get here? How? How did this become acceptable?
How is it OK ever to turn humans into commodities? Numbers? Machines?
I am in the business of being human.
Humans first. Each other. Connection. Care. Support. Love.
It is unacceptable. REPEAT unacceptable, for legal to take precedence of humans. We either care about each other or we do not. Do not give me this BS about family, transforming the world, and then treating each other with disrespect.
We think the problems occurring right now in the world, with an acceptable rise of Nazi’s in the USA, as some aberrant thing that has nothing to do with us.
It has everything to do with us. All of us. We said yes to this.
We said yes.
Often by saying nothing. Doing nothing. Rolling over. Looking away.
Not by one big action, but by saying yes to little transgression. Little permissible atrocities. Seemingly innocuous.
This is exactly how a whole nation of people said yes to a holocaust. Not through one big fell swoop of evil, but through tiny little steps of minor misdemeanor that makes evil acceptable.
No one gets off this stage free. We are all culpable. Every single time we step over a little transgression.
I find myself, once again, on the discarded pile of humans who have stood up and said…NOT on my watch.
Yet this is what I like about me most of all. I will not be silent. I will not step over. I will not let it be.
This I trust in myself. And you may call me silly. A fool.
People choose not to engage with me because they know I will call them out. Not as an attack. But from holding them to their highest selves. Which often means the kinds of changes they simply cannot face. The know they will not get platitudes or saccharine. They will get real. And real sometimes tastes bitter. Even when provided on a spoon of love.
Yet it is the only way I know how to live. For anything that is not this is not living. Swallowing poison in micro-doses over decades, poison that makes lying easier, deceit painless, evil acceptable, this is not living. Sleeping each night in the toxic swamp of our own deceit.
To stand for and in truth comes at a great price. For most everyone doesn’t want to hear this kind of truth. They want to pretend that if they close their eyes, or just keep going for that extra bit longer, something will happen to take the sting of their lies out of their life. To numb the pain they dose on acceptable external dramas. A TV show, an affair, gambling, legal and illegal drugs.
Yep, something will happen for our accumulated lies and silence, and it will be ugly, and many many humans will pay.
Poverty. Seriously? In our world were we are fighting an epidemic of obesity?
War? The boys and their toys? As if a bigger stick has ever actually solved anything?
And the coming economic implosion that will leave so many people in a very bad place. Bankers, immune. Regular people. Stripped to their last dime.
What about the environment? Lets not go there. I do not give a rats if we are in global warming or cooling or the scientists have their numbers off a bit. Truth is we simply cannot continue to get away with extracting everything from the earth, creating stockpiles of disposable everything, and allowing all the toxic waste to affect some random tribe over there. Because as we have discovered, over there quickly becomes here. There is no there. We are all it.
How could I possibly connect an action of an organisation that says humans cannot outreach to the humans who have just been fired because of lack of funds, because legal says they must not, to the rise of Nazi’s in the USA? Is that too big a leap for you?
If it is, look again. Look hard.
Every single time we place humanity, animals, the earth, as secondary to anything, in any action, we are placing some externality on the alter of our worship.
In times of great suffering, show me how legal will fix it?
It will always, has always, come down to human to human connection. How we treat each other. As humans. And many times that might mean breaking the rules.
Do we dare?
I know I do.