Everything about contemporary leadership tells us to be globally astute and culturally sensitive. Experts say that we are impotent without the ability to respect diversity and to embrace differences. Billions are spent on change management seminars and executive coaching and team building. And yet . . . the truth is many (perhaps most) of us have no tolerance of anything outside of ourselves. Who have we become? Have we become more civilized and in our quest for a higher order of thinking, have we lost the capacity for balance?
When I was a kid, my brothers and I would play on a contraption at the park called a teeter totter. It is a balancing toy that allows the person on each end to trade places up and down, up and down. Unfortunately, my brothers rarely enjoyed the balance aspect for long and instead, preferred to hold me captive up in the air while they sat on the ground on the other end. When they ultimately decided to let me down, it was typically with a forceful bang. At other times one of them stood in the middle forcing the two riders up and down, which caused the riders to forfeit control of the up and down movement.
That feels a lot like our society as there are those who refuse balance for the sake of banging the other person to the ground or playing the part of the third party who stands in the place that should result in balance and taking control of the ride.
Still thinking about some current events and asking, “Who have we become?”