Tuesday, November 25, 2008

La liberté éclairant le monde (Collective Resonance)

In leadership—there’s a calling to make it happen.

For many…

Create wealth for many, take care of many.

It’s somewhat even expected. I am sure anyone who’s managed people feels it.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

So said the New Colossus posted on the Statue of Liberty—whose formal name is “Liberty Enlightening the World”

« La liberté éclairant le monde »

But what I’ve noticed…this makes it all overwhelming.

Louder voices – bigger egos have their way, herding a herd. Loud voices that sometimes make no sense, no clarity, but sway the human condition.

This makes many people (a mob) just play along, to a point where they’re good at playing, and sometimes even end up just playing people.

The torch of Lady Liberty—a symbol of enlightenment—has been repaired so many times.

* * *
Sometimes I wonder what happened to me in the last eight years.
U.S. Patent D11,023 was granted for "a statue representing Liberty enlightening the world…"

The Statue was first used as a lighthouse (first one using electricity), first to greet every new arrival in New York City (before planes existed). A guy named Pulitzer was critical to enable its financing to celebrate 100 years of a Declaration of Independence.

This torch survived a 1916 explosion. Since 9/11, Lady Liberty (a Jersey Girl) has been closed; she didn’t pass some test. A symbol of liberty, now a symbol of…

* * *

The real test, amidst these loud voices, is if you can change one person in front of you. That’s the true frontier of change.

For a long time, I have had a creed.

One person at a time.

Can you inspire one person in front of you?

If not, chances are you can't truly help anyone else until you do. What you do with one person determines how you ripple forward.

It’s here you learn the meaning of Be Heard, Not Herded.

It’s here a resonance is started…that expands outward, one person at a time.

That’s not to say, everyone will be won over. But certainly enough to get better and better.

It's not just what you think, or what's done for some platform or about people who speak the loudest. Leadership is real, in the flesh, to things in front, one brick at a time.

Too often, there’s a pursuit of some abstract need, or a solution designed for lobbying.

The small step in front of you…probably counts more.

One person at a time. To give to someone who inspires you. Or to someone you can inspire.

Recently, I was inspired to see a Starbucks story from Colorado. A drive-thru that didn’t charge for your coffee. Instead you paid for the bill of the person behind you. Pay it backwards. The person in front of you paid for your coffee.

Yes, people did cry.

* * *
This is dedicated to Justine who helped me, when it counted, who arrives today in my town. Be free, Lady Liberty.

“Faster than we thought we'd go, beneath the sound of hope. Justine never knew the rules”


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