Finding Peace in the Whirlwind

Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA
Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA

“The world is divided into people who think they are right.”

Last week’s Resilient Wednesday received a lot of reader mail regarding The Notorious RBG and AGS, which is representative of the tension and frustration many people are experiencing as we are dealing with the effects of the Pandemic, issues around racial justice, and the upcoming election.

If resilience is going to have a place in alleviating these anxieties and worries, we need more strategies to help us both cope and mitigate the challenges and adversities we are traversing.

One strategy that I am calling on to help me is forgiveness.

Now, I know it may seem weird to forgive people with whom I disagree with politically. Am I forgiving because they are denigrating what is important to me without regard to seeing my point of view? Perhaps, I am feeling bad for them and view them as having lost their way.

It doesn’t really matter why I might feel forgiving towards them except for the fact that forgiveness is such a powerful tool in that it helps me to feel more able to talk with others and allows me to enter a conversation with more peace.

Forgiveness is giving up the idea that we can change the past.

 Of course, forgiveness has a deep history of helping overcome political challenges. In the 20th century, Ghandi, King, Mandela used it to transform nations. We’ve been less blessed with inspiring leaders so far in the 21st century, but we’ve had a brilliant young woman who may be setting the stage for a century of women’s leadership and that would be 23-year-old, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

The Dalai Lama has spoken on forgiveness towards the Chinese who invaded his native Tibet and continue to repress human rights. He suggests that when we wake up in the morning, we have kind thoughts and consider whether the path of anger and violence will win the day.  By not developing negative and hateful thoughts we decrease our own pain and suffering and make more room for dialogue. It seems like a simple idea but often times the easiest ideas have the best results. 


The Leadership Café—Nancy Kukovich, CEO of Adelphoi USA
The latest version of the Leadership Café, my new weekly webcast, along with my colleague and co-author, Mike Couch, where we interview extraordinary people leading remarkable businesses is out and this week and we are talking with Nancy Kukovich, CEO of Adelphoi USA. Nancy shares some great insights on how to influence State legislators including the idea that sometimes you have to marry them one of them! As always, our thanks to our friends at Vaco for sponsoring The Leadership Cafe!

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