Initiative (1,223)

July 30th, 2011

It was time to punish myself. I had spent a wonderful, productive day and was settling in for the evening and decided I would risk a bit of torture, so I turned on the news. Now, I bounce between CNN and Fox News in an attempt to create some balance, which actually ends up being the personification of the word “bounce.” The subject of the night was the issue of many nights prior and probably many in the future—the debt ceiling. (My quick suggestion on the matter would be to allow Visa or the local bank to make the decision for the government the same way they do for me. But that’s just a childish thought, I’m sure.)

What struck me on this particular tour de force through media hell was that each Congressman, Senator and even the President felt that it’s very important to draft a plan that bears his name—to prove that they have shown initiative in the endeavor. Sitting there, I realized that the definition for “initiative” in our country has become the following:

I must come up with an idea of my own that can be enacted, which will be pure to my motivations and concepts, so that when its fruit is born I can take credit for the success, ye somehow leave room to share the blame.

Is that really initiative? Is initiative the determined piece of pride within me that insists that every project must be stamped by my ideas and my sense of origin to be worth anything? That’s actually the definition of vanity. It is a vain and inglorious philosophy that believes we have the capacity for understanding what needs to be done, even in the matters that pertain directly to ourselves.

Can I be the first to say it? I am not smart enough to solve everything—even me. Maybe that is the beginning of true spiritual discovery. I am not self-sufficient. I am not able to conjure the best plan for handling the situations that come across my life without input. Matter of fact, the death of all creativity is the belief that we no longer need to drink anything in before we pour something out. I am not self-contained.

I would like to give you a fresh insight on initiative as I see it. It is in four parts.

1. Having all my senses available to be aware of what really needs to be done.

2. Accessing my limited files of understanding and applying them wisely to the situation as needed.

3. Admitting my lack and seeking wisdom, assistance, guidance and fortification from the forces of God, humanity and nature.

4. Finding what’s best to do, submitting to the wisdom of a better plan than my own, and pursuing it faithfully—with great loyalty.

Can you imagine what would happen if people would begin to understand the value of limitations and therefore the importance of one another, culminating in the inclusion of God?

I think there is no difference among Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu or atheist as long as they believe that their personal human package is enough to solve any situation that comes their way. They are all foolishly locked into their own prison of personal preference.

I don’t know whether it has occurred to anyone in Washington, D.C. that we might need everybody to solve our problems. It might mean that the final plan would have a generic name, like “Us Working Together” instead of Bill’s, Bob’s, Sam’s, Jack’s or Barrack’s Plan. But we might have the soul satisfaction of knowing that since we collaborated and absorbed all of the good stuff around us, our chances of success will be heightened—and our failure can be shared gladly.

Initiative is when we are smart enough to realize … we’re kind of dumb.

Published in: on July 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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