“Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
Many of the recent global events we have been experiencing collectively have been a bit of a wake-up call for humanity. With the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve come to realize how connected we are, and we’ve given a much needed pause to our beautiful planet from our frantic activities. It’s been incredible to see just how quickly the waters and air have cleaned up. On an individual level, we’ve been given the space to truly look at our own lives and priorities. It is my greatest hope that we take the good lessons learned from this time and apply them to our lives rather than going back to the old normal behaviors. This global experience has changed us in profound ways that we will discover even more over time.
The last couple of weeks have been dominated by the death of George Floyd and the solidarity to stand for the way we treat others yet again. Personally, I have felt a lot of sadness for the events and see so many traumatized people acting out. I have reflected back on the wise words of Martin Luther King Jr.: “Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” There is so much polarization happening currently, and I often wonder why it needs to be like this? Why can’t we have respectful conversations? If people have different opinions, can we agree to disagree rather than resorting to name-calling and gas-lighting?
I believe we can shift our own mindset to make a big impact! We can learn a lot by genuinely listening to each other. We all have our own baggage, our own wounds, and the information we take in will often reflect our belief system. I would like to see a world where we have a high level of trust, respect, caring and most of all, kindness. Perhaps I am naïve to believe we can get there. It requires a high level of emotional intelligence and doing our personal inner work of healing our own wounds first.
As long as we can model these behaviors in our own actions, we can then influence others. After all, we do have mirror neurons in our brains and emotions have been proven to be contagious. Secondhand stress is just as detrimental as secondhand smoking to our health and well-being! We must learn to take responsibility for our emotions first and foremost.
We need to make a conscious choice to be a force for good, to spread joy and love, rather than hatred and fear.
Leaders have a huge opportunity to model this in their roles in companies as well! This is where conversational intelligence and building trust become so vital. Not just for the company but for the mental well-being of your employees. We need caring leadership and bringing people together right now. So, my question to leaders right now is: how are you bringing your teams together during these very divisive times? Would love to hear some great examples and stories so we can share some good news instead of being bombarded by fear!
Let’s focus on what we have in common instead of what differences we have! Let’s choose love over fear.