President Obama gave a most fitting State of the Union Address last week. I did not get to see it, but I listened to him on my car radio as I drove to pick up my son from basketball practice. I was delighted. He faced the issues squarely, and responded comprehensively. He clearly outlined the steps required to turn our economy around and explained why certain unpopular actions were necessary. All in all, it was a first class address to the nation and just what we needed to hear.
It is always so critical to have leadership that echoes the hopes and wants of the People. When our leaders can voice what is in our minds and hearts, compelling opportunities for new possibilities can emerge.
But… President Obama said, “I cannot do it alone.”
For me, this was one of his most significant statements, Wednesday night.
While Obama can begin to hold the forces of corporate greed and power at bay, it is up to the rest of us to step up and fill the void. We are the ones who will create the future of America – the new America, not Wall Street, General Electric, Warren Buffett, or the real estate market.
I think we know, by now, that things are not just going to right themselves, and there is no going back to what they were. No… We have to move forward, and to do that, we must take matters into our own hands. We must create the new industries, the new businesses, and the new sources of funding that are needed. We must claim our power to do what is necessary to make our economy and our country work the way we want it to.
We have to come together, identify a problem or need, and pool our minds, hearts, and resources to create the solutions.
I believe that one of the main obstacles to us getting on track and moving forward is the ingrained attitude of competition, the keeping up with the Joneses, and the practice of making ourselves feel okay about ourselves by proving that we’re better than our neighbors. The days when that sort of thinking had any place in our society, are over. A good dose of humanity and humility would help us to understand that we’re all in the same boat, here. And we have to come together to figure the way out.
One of the positives that is emerging from the tragedy in Haiti is that more and more people have opened their hearts to their fellow human beings and are learning that we not separate – we are one humanity. Whatever plagues another is also our problem, and we must reach out and help.
A similar approach is necessary here at home, as we seek to rise up from the economic downfall, or as I prefer to say, as we create a new economy, one that will rise out of the ashes of the old.
These are exciting times, when courage, bold action, and real social and economic innovation become the groundwork for the cultural evolution required for us to move ahead.
If you are facing some particular obstacle or challenge for which you cannot find the solution, do not hang your head in despair, or just sit hoping that the answer will come, or give up altogether. Perhaps you need to innovate – create an entirely new solution, something that’s never quite been done before. Necessity is the mother of invention and innovation, but for us to create new solutions, we must first stop waiting for someone else to fix the problem. We must take matters into our own hands.
Misha works with a select group of clients and leads seminars and workshops in the Los Angeles area. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.