A couple days ago shots Mr. Trump fired shots at Chicago from his Twitter feed. The man has a particular gift for getting people whipped up into a frenzy. He knows all the weak points. All the buttons to push. But this one made me particularly livid because it was a high profile, visible manifestation of what I’ve been telling people all along. We’re all complicit in Chicago’s “violence problem”.
I place that in quotes not because it isn’t a problem. But because the problem itself has become its own entity. A contained virus. A tool by which people leverage and measure their relevance or goodness in the world. Rappers use it to establish street cred. Politicians use it gain votes. Hipsters use it to sharpen their startup skills. Media to sell papers. Celebrities to signal to the world they ‘care’ about something even if they haven’t really worked in or been back to the Southside in years.
We’re all feeding a monster. And though I do my best, I’m no exception. Chicago doesn’t have a violence problem. We have a skills gap problem. An education problem. A segregated resources problem. A parenting/village/community problem. All of these things are exacerbated by our inability to keep our mouths shut about what we don’t want so that we can focus on what we do want. Simply put, we have the gift of gab for the wrong shit.
I’m not going to get into the statics about how per capita, it’s not that bad. Or how it’s isolated to certain communities because the fact of the matter is, any murder is unnecessary and preventable. If we stop making crime the soapbox upon which we stand, there’ll be less attention and therefore less energy for the people committing these crimes that can be diverted to deploying impactful positive change.
There are a thousand and one people down here who are working solutions. I mean really making an impact. Some of them seasoned and wise. Many of them young and hopeful. Working 70 hour weeks for $30k and they need your support. Every time you get on Facebook to complain or blame or point fingers, you’re throwing salt in their wounds; throwing them and the residents they serve into a kind of hopeless submission. You’re saying what they’re doing doesn’t matter. But it’s not because they’re not doing anything you’re just not paying attention.
The law of attraction is real. Whatever you focus on will grow. It’s best we focus on the things already happening that are making the city great. Here are some ways to change the narrative:
Mondays are magical. At least they can be, they’re supposed to be. If your Monday isn’t Magical you’ve gone wrong somewhere. Perhaps you spent the whole weekend worrying or working or preparing for today. So, now you’ve just got today. And today, the whole world, being just as anxious as you are, is coming at you like with speed and indifference. Text messages, emails, notifications dinging and pinging all over the place. It’s all just a mad dash to nowhere.
And you can make it stop.
Make the world move at your pace. You are worthy as it is. You don’t have to work yourself into a frenzy. Monday shouldn’t mean anything. It doesn’t really. The whole thing, starting work or having to work on a Monday, is completely made up. There is still living to be done on a Monday. The world we live in is a fantastically magical place to be.
Drink your coffee a little slower. Really taste the flavors. Is that a hint of cherry in your Ethiopia roast? Turn on your favorite music. Look up, look around and notice how tiny you are in relation to the horizon. Smile and Breathe Slow down to speed up. Open your mind to new possibilities. Sight and sound and taste and smell and touch and…. feels. Ah, the feels. Know that you own your now and you are an incredible human being on a fantastic journey. You are a freakin’ genius and you live in a world that is positively pure imagination.
About two or three weeks ago, a friend of mine shared a post from a lightworker that highlighted what he said would be a tumultuous Sagittarius season.
Some days you can’t tell if bad surprises are part of being in business or if God is singling you out. I’ve met people from all stages of business growth and success. Learning from them and my own experiences have taught me that the task of leadership is challenging for all of us. But the one thing that has given me perspective has having a growth mindset. Knowing that I am fully capable of learning what I need to learn to become the kind of CEO I would like to become.
The foundation of having a growth mindset is self-awareness and self-understanding. In order to grow, you have to know your own strength and what you’re capable of. We don’t know ourselves intimately so we don’t believe in our capacity to overcome the challenges that come with new information.
Instead, we’ve stitched our identities together with a bubble gum concoction of old news and bad habits.
New information tests our fragile identities so we push back. But there is no imagination without information. And we will never reach our greatest capacity without imagining new things.