The world is an interesting place these days.   Last year, Aston Martin was showcasing its first ever electric car, a new treatment for peanut allergies was unveiled, a ban was placed on facial recognition software and Jeff Koons’s 1986 “Rabbit” sculpture sold for $91.1 million at auction, which are just a few of many newsworthy stories.

Fast forward to 2020, and as we say in the sticks, “the animals have let loose from the barn!”  This year hit with a vengeance.  The #metoo movement kept it’s momentum, which should have caused every man in America to question every word and motion made with a woman in the vicinity— to the Covid pathogen unleashing it’s war on immune systems across the globe crippling healthcare capacities —and just when we thought we had our limit—four police officers in Minneapolis unleash a firestorm.  People went from dragging themselves out of their houses to go to work—to wishing they could leave their house without fear of judgement or an attack on their immune system—and that was the first half of 2020!  Brace for the second half!

I would best describe 2020 as the ‘Side of Beef Swinging in a Shark Tank’ tour.  Each new month we brace for what could be next.  If we manage to see pigs fly, our pets start speaking English to us and aliens land in New York to bring dessert—it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

Stand back to watch how society interact these days— there is no middle ground.  People either are courteous, kind and thoughtful—or—they are narcissistic, rude and abrasive.

Everything has two sides.  If you wear a mask, you could be labeled as a conformist or a caring person who wants to protect others.  Whomever would have thought a piece of cloth worn over the nose and mouth would cause such controversy.  I’m excluding those that have yet to figure out the proper way to wear a mask, wearing it on their chin with their entire face exposed.  The medical community are screaming for help from the general public, the CDC gives daily new rising case numbers and the largest news story today is to stop buying Goya brand anything because the CEO gave the president a compliment.  It is an interesting world we live in.

Bring it down to daily life.  Where did kindness go?

The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, the decisions you make, what you think, what you do, who you become—all on you. A liar does not have “class”— a cheater does not have “integrity” —loneliness is the outcome of the lack of both —loneliness does not necessarily mean you are physically alone — it can mean you are surrounded by people who in the end do not care about anything except their own personal gain.  Is it love if in the inner core, you only worry about your own happiness?

Which brings up the question—Do we ever really know people? The answer to this depends on if people are willing to show who they truly are. My grandmother used to say, “it’s easy for someone to be great in good times, however the true character comes out in difficult times.”

Is it considered lying if someone doesn’t share information they think would hurt you?  Eventually the truth will surface causing exponentially more pain.  Why not share the complete truth from the beginning?  Because truth be known, those people have an agenda for themselves.  They aren’t worried about hurting you, they are concerned with their own self preservation.

When the truth does surface, the pain inflicted is beyond measure.

Recently, I had a person show their inner core.  In seconds, what I had thought was a good hearted person, became adolescent—vicious—violent—pitiful.  Why the turn?  This person was confronted with a lie they had been keeping.   Venom will spew from those that realize their true darkness has been uncovered.

Imagine a grown human, prancing around on the balls of their feet, swinging their weight while walking back and forth in a 4 foot spread.  Their arm swinging in the air—hand holding their cell phone—eyes bugging out of their skull—mouth foaming—all while barking, “I’m an adult! I am an adult!”  The sad display causing one to question whether an exorcism or a cage is needed.  Maybe both.

Of course, in their mind, none of this would be their fault.  Deflection is a true art to those who can not hold themselves accountable.

Where does this leave those standing around trying to wrap their head around the pitiful production in front of them?  Sometimes the difficult decision is to walk away from someone who clearly would rather grasp onto denial than accept help.

All we can do is make the best decisions we can based on the facts we have at the time.  It is not our job to fix the mess of another whose only mission is to control and destroy.  Toxic people destroy everything around them.

Always remember:

Direction, not intention, determines destination.

Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Adjust.  Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. The only people criticizing you are those too afraid to enter themselves. This is your moment. Own it.

In this odd world we are experiencing—do not lose sight of yourself.  Do not allow anyone to manipulate or control you.

Stay focused.  Clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters your mind.  Live with dogged determination.  Selecting what takes up space in your mind the same way you select your clothes every day.  Own your power.  Know your truth.  It’s not what you are exposed to that matters.  It’s how you react to that exposure.  Eliminate exposure to toxic people.

Victim mentality holds zero production.  Those who hold it become stunted—boxed in.

Intelligent decision making requires you to evaluate the situation as it exists today.  The windshield is larger than the rearview mirror for a reason.

Own your truth—discover your true potential. The only box you can be forced in to—is the one you allow yourself to be.

If only as a society we focused on the simple things, it would be a much happier place.  To quote one of my favorite poems by Robert Fulgham’s:

Play fair.

Don’t hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.

Remember to look both ways before crossing the street.

Hold hands and don’t lose anyone.
Stay healthy!