Thankfully, our species is evolving. We are maturing and constantly outgrowing our old ways of being. What is emerging (have you noticed?) is an economy based on service and conscious consumption, inspired by empathy, interconnection, and a willingness to be outstanding. If you haven’t seen some of these shifts taking place, keep your eyes out, they deserve your attention (and will make you feel better about the world!).
Thanks to the gods & goddesses, we are evolving beyond the whole concept of cool. Sure, tell me about the latest organic local honey home delivery service and I’ll probably still say “cool!” (Actually, I’d say ‘sweeeet,’ which is much more appropriate anyhow). Beyond the word, the concept itself has passed its point.
Think of the classic “cool kid.” Are there people flocking to them, but the person does not engage or respond to other people’s attempts to connect? To me, that sounds more like an attachment disorder than anything else. But then, it was only a few generations ago when parents and teachers smacked kids around “out of love” and you would be hard pressed to find a child who did not equate love with some level of dismissal or even violence. So, it makes sense that we used to sign up for someone to dismiss us again and again by cool kids. However, as Brené Brown so wisely states, “cool is an emotional straightjacket.” It keeps us small, hidden and prevents both the “cool” and “uncool” from experiencing the authentic connection that is so crucial to our social and emotional thriving. Whichever side of the fence you have been on, you know this experience of distance does not feel good.
Nowadays, for the most part, we are getting healthier. Lucky for us, the axiom vulnerability is weakness has morphed in many minds to the precise opposite: vulnerability is strength. We connect with people who slough off shame and tell their own story, unapologetically and authentically. We connect with leaders who are warm, who smile, and who show us that they, too, are human and humane.
Thank God(s) again. We are entering an age when the person with the most power is the one with the most open heart.
My only suggestion to you today is that you recognize this fundamental shift as it is occurring, and that you consciously participate in it, finding the strength to offer your own warmth when someone around you is shut down. There is so much research in neurobiology emerging that supports this, but don’t wait for science to prove that love is the order of the day, when you already know that. Just be the person who is courageous enough to offer a smile to a group of individuals who is shut down, shut off, fearful or tuned out. And have the courage to choose your company wisely.
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