Just When You Thought You Had it All Figured Out...

Just When You Thought You Had it All Figured Out...

Thoughts on life, spirit and joy... by Trina Ramsey

Why People Matter

About a week ago I saw Robert Reich’s new movie “Inequality for All” – a hard look at how our country came to be so divided and unequal economically.  He chronicles stories of the wealthiest, as well as those of middle class families who are struggling to raise their families on two incomes. They followed the rules and are still stuck. But they persevere.

 

It is inspiring to see how seriously Reich takes his life-long mission to look after the “little guys”.  One close-up shot shows the sadness in his eyes when he asks himself, “have I failed? I’ve been talking about this all my life and it hasn’t changed things.”  This is a man who has achieved success on a number of levels, but he still pushes himself to do more, to contribute more.  It’s inspiring.

 

Fast forward 6 days.  October 1, 2013 – Day 1 of the much-dreaded government shutdown. I pray this gets resolved quickly.  It scares me how a group of Congressmen can decide that putting nearly a million people out of work (albeit temporarily) due to their own stubbornness is somehow “right for our country”.  It is irresponsible and selfish – and it comes down to two things.  Fear and a desire to win at all costs. 

 

I am struck by the difference between Reich’s approach to the world, versus the behavior of some of our government and business leaders.  Reich believes that everyone matters.  They believe that only some people matter – the rest are expendable.  Reich wants an economy that is healthy for all Americans, where people have an opportunity to achieve the American Dream through hard work and upward mobility.  The others believe that the American Dream is only for the elite.  This is the difference between having an abundance mentality vs. a scarcity mentality.  Those who think abundantly believe that there is enough good to go around. Those who don’t believe that think they have to protect their hard earned money from the “others”.

 

We are all the same. We bleed red blood, we are mortal, and we want the basic things in life: love, security, and our physical needs. We all have ambitions. We want our kids to be better off than we are. 

 

I admit that I am an eternal optimist.  I believe in the inherent good in people. I believe that though we go through tough times, things can work out if we have faith and don’t give up.  The irony of the experiences in this past week is staggering – inspired on one end, and completely frustrated 6 days later. But I do believe that there is justice in the world, and that one way or other, you reap what you sow.

 

WIN/LOSE IS A LOSING GAME

It seems everyone wants to win, at all costs. This is what’s happening in politics. No one tries to collaborate or compromise. When you go for the win at others’ expense – you will eventually lose. I recently gave a workplace presentation on relationships in the workplace, and I talked about how much more powerful it is to go for win/win solutions.  Together we can achieve more, can create more, if we stop seeing one another as adversaries. 

 

What’s your outlook on life? Do you try to win with no regard for others? Or do you go along blindly with the consensus. Cooperating doesn’t mean you’re a doormat. You can (and SHOULD!) look out for your own self interests.  Conflict is a part of life – there’s no way around it.  The next time a disagreement arises, try a new approach.  Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People states, “Win-win is a belief in the third alternative. It’s not your way or my way. It’s a better way. A higher way."
 

Try it!  

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