Friday, January 7, 2011

The Forces That Change The World

Once an early adopter of trends in my past business life, this time I ignored the buzz and friend invites and avoided Facebook for years. Don't get me wrong; I've always loved networking and socializing. But my very different worlds on this path seemed to make it easier to move from one to the other at a time than to pull them all together in one place—even if the “place” was as obscure as my own Facebook Wall.

But then a couple of freelance projects required fb involvement, so in I jumped.

Which is when I saw it.

Avoiding the messiness of pulling all my worlds together, I had cut myself off from the combined power of the forces that had shaped me! Each one of these three major regions and cultures had given me something essential for changing my own world. For stepping into the fullest possible healing from a childhood riddled with abuse.

I knew that about these three areas and types who had shaped me individually; I'd lived it. But by continuing to keep my worlds separate, I had cut myself off from the energy of all three of those elements interacting at once instead of just one by one in my life. And I'd cut myself off from noticing the combined force they could have for global change.

What do I see now? The three very different cultures and worlds on my journey represent the three primary forces that Move the World.
  • The Workforce—driven by a combo of ethics and hardship to sacrifice for a cause.
  • The Power Players—who can make or find the money and the connections it takes to launch things.
  • The Rising Stars—with the popular appeal to draw a global following.
The Three World-Change Forces in My Story:
  1. My upbringing in the rural Midwest full of tradition and values and a heavy work ethic—school years spent in a nearly all-white area outside Grand Rapids and summers in a nearly all-black area closer to Chicago—taught me about persistence. It taught me about hard work and overcoming the odds and helping the next generation rise above.
  2. My years in Dallas/Fort Worth shaped my ability to find the most strategic ways of getting the job done and to make smart business connections. The combo of its Southern debutante culture and financial success taught me how to live graciously and modeled ways to make money and find funding.
  3. And finally, my exposure to the dream-like environment of Santa Monica/Hollywood and involvement with young artists pursuing dreams of taking the global stage taught me to think bigger about my potential and the potential of all those around me. The Disney feel of the area did for me what it tries to do for us all: kept hope in dreams coming true alive.
The Gift of My Facebook Experience...for World Change:
My dread of ever letting these worlds collide disappeared in my first weeks on Facebook. The gift those weeks gave to me was remembering all at once what each culture has done for me, and recognizing in a new and powerful way what these three types of energies--working together—can do for the world.
No one of these--a sacrificial workforce, a powerhouse of influencers and funders, or a group of rising stars--has ever affected great change working alone. But together they can be unstoppable.

So what's stopping us?
Why aren't we all working on connecting anyone we know representing those three primary forces together for world change types of efforts?
Probably for the same reason I've stayed away from Facebook these past years. In every one of those three worlds of mine while in each I heard little good said about any of the others. And the same is probably true of you in your own networks if you know all three of these “types.”

They don't typically think much of each other. Hollywood loves to ridicule the upper Midwest and Middle America in general in its more practical, hardworking, no-frills/ no-show conservative approach to life. Dallas has little to no respect for what is sees as LA's more shallow “quick-fix” approach to doing business. And I grew up in the upper Midwest hearing each of these other cultures described as “dangerous”--given the one's pursuit of money and a luxurious lifestyle (at least in contrast with their own), and the other's of fame.
...Somehow the positive side of what Funding and a Global platform can do for the very causes the Middle America area that birthed me cares most about was missed. 
...Just as the Hollywood types sometimes forget that about all they can do alone is entertain and inspire. 
...Or that the Money and Star Power working together without a committed Workforce can only spark temporary trends instead of lasting movements.

It will take all three of these Types represented in my own journey to truly affect change in the world. Me? I have fallen in love with all of them--one by one.
  • I show pictures and tell stories of my young friends in Santa Monica who are breaking into the movies and music industry and modeling and dancing and creating art to anyone who will listen--like they're my own children or something! Their energy and potential inspires me like nothing else. 
  • I have never met role models I admire or respect more than the generation just above me in the Dallas area who became my friends and shaped my own young adult years; they taught me how to live.  
  • And the people from the place that birthed me?  No words for the treasures they have become to me--richer every year.  Any character I have for facing life, I have because of these people and this place that first gave me life.
Working together, the Star Power and the Influencers and the Character-driven Workers can become a Force capable of launching a major movement. Working together they can become a Force for making dreams come true.
  • Like the end of poverty
  • And child abuse. 
  • And sex trafficking. 
  • And need for orphanages. 
  • And lack of clean water. 
  • And spread of disease. 
  • And misuse of authority and political unrest.
Maybe it's time we start looking for ways to bridge the differences that divide these basic mindsets.  Maybe it's time to start looking for ways to superconnect them.
If nothing else comes from my sometimes strange, often heartbreaking, but ultimately beautiful journey, I hope that linking these three separate but equally necessary energies is one of my great legacies.  I, for one, would like to see these combined Forces mobilized.  I, for one, would like to see these issues they each care about changed.


Anywhere in history, story, current culture or your own life path that you've seen these three Forces for Change come together? Collecting stories and strategies so would love to hear them by email or in the comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment