Monday, November 21, 2016

Fear and Loathing in 2016

2016 could be characterized in part by 2 very unsettling phrases I’ve heard over the year: “trust the process” and “post-truth”. In my mind, the root of both of these turns of words, and the reason they are so dangerous is this: fear.

In and of itself “trust the process” can be construed as something quite positive. Our democracy is a system that has run for hundreds of years- we should trust it. We work within corporations and other organizations with rules and codes of conduct- we should rely on them. However, when we actually feel the need to say the phrase “trust the process”, we should take a really hard look and consider. What is triggering it? Why is there enough doubt to inspire the speaking of it? What is going on to erode the innate sense of security we feel when we know (even though it’s not perfect) that we’re in a good place mentally, emotionally and physically?

Oxford Dictionaries has picked the word “post-truth” as the international word of the year for 2016. It’s an adjective to describe public opinion where the public’s beliefs are not based on facts but are based on ideas beyond or outside of actual facts. What can be legitimately demonstrated and proven is no longer important in a post-truth world.

If we can’t or don’t base our ideas and principles on facts, how can we trust the process?

The answer is simple: we can’t. We’d be living in fear and fear can eat us alive. Fear can tear us apart. Fear can keep us from doing anything at all or drive us to the unthinkable.

As we prepare for a new year, it behooves us all to think about what really matters to us and LIVE it. Let’s go BEYOND post-truth and base our actions on truth and love. To every person we meet and with every word we speak, we should act with earnest intention and not in fear, but in truth and love. Truth and love for self. Truth and love for other. Truth and love for us all.

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