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“I can’t enjoy anything, unless everybody is. If someone is starving someplace, it puts a crimp in my evening.” - Alvy Singer (Annie Hall)

I know how Alvy feels, but I also had a second grade report card that said, “Breck clearly expects everything to go well.”  That statement, however true, also now includes other seemingly contradictory statements that I live by, or better said, they live me.

I feel incredibly blessed for all of my blessings, but I also include an expiration date.  I cannot, without excluding any kind of prescient logic, expect my life or my country’s life to continue dominating with affluence, privilege and entitlement, while the rest of the world is torn apart.  America is like the Broadway production of “Cats”; its had a ridiculously successful run.

A person who I hadn’t seen in quite sometime asked how I was doing. I said I was awesome and life was sweet, and then I followed up with,  “I feel kind of guilty feeling so good when so much of the world is feeling so bad.”  There used to be some sort of governor on virulent behavior.  Granted, the world has endured some of the most venomous figures, (Hitler, Hussein, Pol Pot, Ayatollah, Mengele and countless more) but these were infected anomalies and the rest of us had some sort of moral compass.  It seems like the dam has burst and all our inner entitlement is issuing forth like some polluted river.  We have a rationale for violent acts, for thoughtless acts of greed and gluttony for religious differences, for righting wrongs, and certainly, in some cases if someone is mentally sick and feasting on humanity, they must be stopped.  It’s not that the world hasn’t always been this way, it just seems we used to have better role models and bad behavior wasn’t either ignored or endorsed as it is today.

I know our fears stalk us on a daily basis and the images of Syrian, Palestinian and Israeli children that blanket the news is too much to bear. Whether it’s in the disharmony of a marriage or it’s the waging of war between two factions, it’s always the children that pay the price for adult behavior.  I say this mostly pointing the finger at myself.  I am as guilty as the next person with regard to thoughtless acts and narcissistic behavior. There is a cost for that behavior, but there’s a bigger cost if one doesn’t attempt to change it.

When one does an inventory of their life, their behavior, and they scrutinize their actions, there is an intrinsic desire to change.  

To change requires the following:

“That what WAS important moves to the background and what IS important takes center stage.” When that happens, other factors come into play; shame, doubt, lack of faith that you can succeed, indictment, futility, loss.

Let’s take “shame” first, as shame is the puppet master that controls all the puppets.  Shame translates as, “This shouldn’t be happening.”  If something should be happening, than it’s not shameful.  So, with regards to wanting to change all sorts of doubt, fear, indictment, futility, loss, comes into the picture, and under the banner of “shame” none of those characteristics I just mentioned should be going on. That’s not true.  These psychological resistances; doubt, fear, indictment, futility, loss, are the evidence that a certain behavior is being threatened.  Doubt, fear, indictment, futility, loss most certainly should be deploying an arsenal of obstruction in an attempt to thwart any kind of change.

DOUBT - Your questioning of whether you have the fortitude to bring the new changes into existence.

FEAR - That you will be ostracized and laughed at.

INDICTMENT - Questioning all your skills or lack thereof.

FUTILITY - At some point you will say, “What’s the point?”

LOSS - If you change you will lose the qualities that you have.

These concerns stop us from forging ahead and driving the new changes, and it’s not that that aforementioned issues won’t happen, they will. 

1. You should question your fortitude.

2. You will be laughed at and criticized.

3. You will want to give up.

4. You don’t have the skills as of yet.  The person who starts the journey will clearly not be the same person at the end of the journey.  You will develop skills along the way. You will not have them at the beginning. 

5. There will be loss.  You must put at risk what you have become for what you could be.  

“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” - Niccolò Machiavelli

Don’t let the arsenal of resistance stop you, but rather be evidence that you are initiating great changes.