Often when we talk about helping poor communities, we’re actually working not to save a life but to offer more choices. That’s how we improve our well-being – by enabling choice.
The above statement is from Seth Godin’s inspiring little book: We Are All Weird: The Rise of Tribes and The End of Normal: Link to Buy It. I like the testimonials – “This is a book about giving a damn. It’s about caring about what you do and (as important) who you do it for. Professional apathy is a relic of a dead era and, as Seth teaches brilliantly, a mentality you cling to at great peril. Everyone with a pulse and a paycheck should be living, We Are All Weird – Chris Taylor, founder, Actionablebooks.com.
But it is Sherold Barr’s testimonial, who describe themselves as a Master Coach and Freedom Fighter that impressed me the most: “This book will resonate with anyone who wants to lead a tribe, be authentic, dance to the beat of their own music, and make a difference in the world. If your inner critic (the resistance) has been telling you that you are not enough, your work is not good enough, and who do you think you are to make a difference then buy this book. Let your freak flag fly high.”
So how does the world present enabling choice? It actually goes to many places and here are some of them:
1. How often do we forget that the person we must first enable is the one looking back at us in the mirror?
2. Rosemary Edghill (born 1956) is an American writer and editor. Some of her work has appeared under her original name, eluki bes shahar (lower case intentional). Her primary genres are science fiction and fantasy, but she began by writing Regency romance novels. The publishers of her first novel felt that “Eluki Bes Shahar” (her legal name at the time) sounded insufficiently English to attract readers, so she adopted the pen-name Rosemary Edghill, which became her legal name in 2004. Not really an enabling choice when you think about it: Choice.
3. Relationship experts say that choice has nothing to do with who you fall in love with. I think that is what this quote is pointing out. Our heart doesn’t seem very logical at the time.
4. Those people that are no longer in your life for an excellent reason, they didn’t stay around long enough to discover how truly valuable you were: Don’t Give Up
5. Victor Hugo is the poet my brother took his new name from when he changed his given name to create a new identity.
6. It’s the behaviour that rankles, stopping one person will not cease the violence committed against women by men. Its behavioural change that is required not naming the perpetrators: Bon Appetit.
7. It’s become less and less that I wake up these days thinking of the opposite of this.
8. You can choose to make a difference with your life or not, really, really, truly: Where’s The Love.
9. A title like Chief Executive Officer does not make you a leader, try Nobel Peace Prize Winner or something in that ilk.
10. Sammy Davis Junior rose to the top of the entertainment tree in America at a time when African Americans had to sit at the back of the bus in most states, he had a commitment: Mr Bojangles.
11. How often has it been said a particular person had the ability, but that person never chose to utilise it. That’s why it is the people who make the tough choices rise to the top.
12. One may say, impossible, because they have to want to, you can not make them do it: Tough Lover.
13. In psychotherapy and mental health, enabling has a positive sense of empowering individuals or a negative sense of encouraging dysfunctional behaviour. One must choose to give up the latter definition and allow the person to do what they need to so they can move forward.
14. Don’t be forced into a hasty decision, what occurs in your life is your choice, not others. Unfortunately, I think 90% of the human race forget this at times: Thinking Out Loud.
15. If you are making no decisions in your life there is nothing that is important to achieve, so how can your day to day actions be significant?
Today, some people can make a living as painters or professional bowlers or even poets. There are ten million households with a net worth of more than a million dollars. And there are millions (perhaps a billion) people who make enough money from their day job that they’re able to pursue something they enjoy with their spare time. More and more often, the thing they enjoy is something weird. Choice is what we choose.
The playlist begins with Bollywood superstars Miss Pooja and Manjit Rupowalia, followed by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush with one of the great duets. Kate Perry adds some Pop Diva, then the Black Eyed Peas sing a sultry number before Sammy Davis Junior takes us back to another era. Christine Aguilera and Ed Sheeran close out the list: You Will Not Know How Powerful You Are.
Namaste until next time, my dear friends.