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"You know, I've always thought technology could solve almost any problem. It enhances the quality of our lives, lets us travel across the galaxy, even gave me my vision. But sometimes you just have to turn it all off." - Geordi (LeVar Burton), Star Trek TNG
The technology at most of our fingertips is astounding. The access to information. The rapid pace ability to research, share, create, and coordinate groups and projects around the entire globe. For many of our world's biggest problems, technology will be vital piece. But sometimes, you just have to turn it all off. Moving forward into this brave new world, we've got to acknowledge that we are still wired for personal connection. We communicate better and deeper when it's not just text. When we hold space for another. Look into their eyes. Try to understand. What is their life, their perspective? How are we different, and how are we the same? We think better and deeper when we can reflect. To sit in silence. To even be radically bored for a moment. To ponder, to wonder, to dream. - - -
"When a man is convinced he's going to die tomorrow, he'll probably find a way to make it happen. The only one who can turn this around is you." - Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg), Star Trek TNG
What we are convinced of, our convictions, can be a powerful positive force. Motivation to continue despite challenges. The fuel of a loving faith. A foundation to build upon.
But convictions can also be a powerful negative force. Blinders to new information. A source of corrosive self-doubt. A stubborn obstacle between now and a better future.
Because they're so powerful, it's wise to regularly evaluate our convictions. Starting with what they are. What are our firmly held thoughts and values? About ourselves. Our family. People who are similar to us. And people who are different than us. Time. Trust. Success. Truth.
Then, where did those come from? Inherited or influenced by others? Developed or discovered by experience?
Next: are those convictions serving us? Those we love? Our community, our country, our world?
And finally, if we find something that needs change or further exploration - how are we going to do that work? Because it's on us. It's on each of us, to turn it around. To grow and learn. To be better today than yesterday.
- - -
"We often fear what we do not understand. Our best defense is knowledge." - Tuvok (Tim Russ), Star Trek Voyager
Perspectives we don't relate to. Motivations we find confusing Methods we weren't taught. Reasons we can't accept.
We often fear what we do not understand. We back away. We steel up. Batten down the hatches. Shields up.
We're wired that way. Different and unknown can lead to danger and harm. So it's natural to have that stomach lurch, quickened heart rate, wanting to back away.
But what do we do after the initial reaction? Just staying in (or continuing to fuel) the knee-jerk reaction isn't a good strategy. It's not a good defense against our fear.
Knowledge is. Curiosity is. Leaning in to hear better. Reaching out to connect. Investing in education. Taking time to think. Giving others grace.
- - -
"You look for the battles in the wrong place. The true test of a warrior is not without - it is within."
- Worf (Michael Dorn), Star Trek TNG
There's a lot of battling going on today. Opinions and conflicts clashing. Real physical violence as well as verbal attacks and shaming. For all reasons all across the board.
We all lash out.
Sometimes without knowing.
Sometimes without thinking.
Mostly in defense.
Protecting from fear, projecting our distrust.
Hiding frustration, showing our strength.
Concealing insecurities, demonstrating our resolve.
There are battles worth fighting for. But often we look for battles in the wrong place. We stop listening and pick unwinnable fights to justify our own perspective. We ignore nuance and make blanket declarations. Those outward battles are not the true test of the warriors within us.
The true test is the battle within.
It's the way we...
Keep training, keep learning.
Challenge our assumptions.
Hold ourselves accountable.
Strengthen our resiliency.
Live and learn
The true test is the battle within.
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