Squinting through sensationalistic headlines that land on lazy, apathetic eyes. Digging out from beneath a mountain of misinformation to find just enough oxygen to breathe a molecule of truth. Untying knots of strategic manipulation to stretch a straight line from catalyst to result. Differentiating sarcasm from sincerity to avoid misconstrued intention. Offering the benefit of the doubt before blatant dismissal. Reaching out with an open hand instead of a closed fist.
These would all seem like logical, sensible modes of operation in our modern society.
But when was the last time you witnessed any of this regularly practiced?
In our knee-jerk, zero-tolerance culture, fingers are rarely pulled from triggers before shots are fired. We have normalized fury, ignorance, outrage, laziness, and intolerance.
News that would have felt impossibly fictitious only a decade ago now holds the intellectual weight of a weather report. Disposable, dismissible sound bites float almost silently in one ear and then quickly exit the other. We half-focus on everything before instantly abandoning even the notion of comprehension, let alone action.
The big bad news is that none of this behavior is abating. With each passing year, the seeds of our future discontent are being sown with the rapidity of a hyperactive nut-gathering squirrel.
So, do we bend under the weight of stacked distractions, or do we force our heads out of the sand and stand accountable? Passivity and avoidance aren’t what medals are made of…but courage and clarity are the ingredients of greatness.