Much of what I see, including the inside of my soul, is driven by self-centered emotions. At the core, many of these emotions can be described as jealousy. It is a difficult word. Someone in power is jealous of that one that went before her/him; sadly, the emotion drives the outcomes we see in the present. Another in a position of authority envies the interactions of a competitive community; ironically, the actions that follow only highlight the gap that exists between the different approaches to leadership. Even individuals that have more than they need covet the happiness of those without much; what follows can only be described as abuse.
Understanding the motivation within is critical if we want to be consistent with the values we hold closest to our hearts. I know there are ugly examples, far too many today and across history. From the time one group “seeing the crowds, went wild with jealousy and tore into Paul, contradicting everything he was saying, making an ugly scene,” (Acts 13.45) to the mindless acts of individuals in authority today, everyone pays the price. I also know that we are free to embrace new motivations.
Experience suggests the following if we want to realize our ideal.
We will take time to reflect and be emotionally ready before our day begins. Taking stock, embracing our values, and being rested is a foundation for realizing great opportunities.
We will seek the wisdom of others as we walk. A community can see more than an individual. Insights can be shared, often lightening the burdens we think we are obliged to carry.
We can look for the best in the lives of those around us as well as life itself. Hope often changes perceptions. Awe and beauty will expand our imaginations. Acts of kindness and compassion will change our view from the inside out.
As chaotic, painful, and uncertain as life is today, we are free. We can reach out. We can share what we have. We can be a part of something greater. In doing so, we will become more.