Lately the movie 'The Sum of All Fears' has been running through my head. Not that it's such a profound movie, but it makes a good point on what happens when people are afraid to look weak and have the wrong interests pushing an agenda. (If you haven't seen it...basically the U.S. and Russia are pushed to the brink of war by private interests strategically blowing up things to make each country look like an aggressor. The two presidents won't concede they had nothing to do with it just in case the other one did it on purpose.)
In so many arenas brinkmanship and fear are ruining chances for people to make meaningful change. I'm talking about police misconduct, education reform, race relations and so many other things that polarizing people these days. The government is afraid to be sympathetic to victims because the police will feel slighted. Activists are afraid to work with cops because they might look like sellouts. White people are afraid to talk about race because it might make us ask for something or blame them for slavery. We're afraid not to push our kids to excel because they might be left behind. We're afraid to set goals and standards because they might stifle creativity. Afraid to give because we may be taken advantage of. We're afraid to look soft, because someone might hurt us. We're afraid to listen to others because they may mistake empathy for agreement.
Argh! Seriously it's enough to make me scream every single day. Perhaps because I'm binging on Brene Brown too, I'm ready to just put the fear away.What if we just put down all the walls and truly listened to what our hearts told us to do? Pushed back from the table and walked through the door with faith prepared to handle what happens. It can't be worse than what he have now.