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glass half full

February 12, 2024

"What you see depends on what you look for." We often talk about the half full/half empty glass. Some people have a tendency to see what is missing, some others what is there. Both are true, but what we focus on creates different outcomes.

I am back in school working on my Master's in Strategic and Organizational Leadership, and it takes every free moment in my life at this point, but how I enjoy the learning. Last week we read about one group that made radical difference through quiet change.

"Tempered radicals" was a term they referred to when leaders quietly challenge prevailing wisdom and provoke cultural transformation. You won't see these leaders on the street corners waving banners, or at city council meetings demanding change. "Tempered radicals embody contrasts. Their commitments are firm, but their means flexible. They yearn for rapid change, but trust in patience. They often work alone, yet unite others. Rather than pressing their agendas, they start conversations. And instead of battling powerful foes, they seek powerful friends. The overall effect? Evolutionary—but relentless—change." (Radical Change, the Quiet Way by Debra E. Meyerson).

These are the people who come to Council meetings and state facts inviting a response, it is the people who do work in the communities without anybody noticing, it is the person who gives a hand-up and not a hand-out, who empowers people to have a voice and help them to move forward. It is the people in the service clubs who tirelessly create awareness of things 'not right', like polio, or child labor, but don't demand.

It is the elderly who care for the kids in the community and has a soft smile and a caring hand. It is the people who are not looking for fame, but want to make a difference.

Would our world look different if we all became tempered radicals? What if rather than standing up and 'demanding' change, we would become the change? What if instead of standing on the corner demonstrating over issues of injustice, we would mentor a child to help them succeed? What if instead of standing in front of abortion clinics, we commit to help the scared young mom for the next 18 years? What if instead of being against police brutality, we would do a ride along to learn more, or have an unbiased conversation with a police officer?

Can tempered radicals change the world? I think so! So, what are you looking for, and how full is your glass?

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