The world is inundated with examples of “what doesn’t work.” From terrorism to our own neighborhoods we have overwhelming examples. It seems to me that there will be no relief, no causing a breakthrough, until actions are taken by the people most directly affected.
It is simple really. If I am expecting someone else to make my life work and it doesn’t happen, I become a victim of my circumstances. Being a victim sucks the life out of living. Being responsible for our lives is empowering to us and, even more importantly, to the people around us. Instead of being a complaint we become part of a solution.
Back a few years ago I led a workshop composed of 17 or 18 members of a youth gang in South Central Los Angeles. It came from a request by a female swimmer from UNLV who had been in a team building workshop a couple of years prior. I will call her “J” and her request came because her boyfriend was the leader of a gang. Crips or Bloods; I don’t remember. The gang was made up of 17 to 23 year olds. Their basic expectation in life was prison or death by their 21st birthday. Their interest, a way to live without the fear of an early demise.
As a result of their willingness to do something to author change they created a truce between the Crips and the Bloods that lasted 10 years without murdering anyone in the rival gang. They were just young people with no possibility for a life until their leader was unwilling to settle for the status quo. (“J”, of course, was insistent).
Everything great is not always without flaws. A few months after the truce was signed the gang leader was killed in a car wreck. “J” had given birth to their daughter so she was left to raise her as a single parent. I have always been in awe of her insight, persistence and courage. With those qualities, any possibility can be realized.
Check out the coaching bookstore. Don’t miss an opportunity to learn from a coach’s view of life.