Have you ever felt like a tightrope walking elephant? I do most days. How can I walk a delicate line, engaging and provoking while still naming the big issue in the room without offending or alienating everyone? I likely can only manage to please half of the participants in a discussion. Walking the tightrope of ‘diplomacy’ may add supporters but not actors. Appearing neutral creates no momentum. Neutrality is always complicit with the aggressors, the bullies. Being strident about ideology only serves to create more polarity.
I do attempt to be impactful and agile by listening to others out of curiousity. Promiscuously taking the best views and ideas from across the left/right spectrum and sticking them awkwardly together helps bridge the divide. Even when we don’t agree I try to be respectful rather than vitriolic. My big elephant feet do make balancing difficult and I have put a foot in my mouth more than once. I intend to apologize ( I don’t always have the courage) for misspeaking, misunderstanding, being rude, and insensitive. I don’t apologize for being a pain in the ass if I can insert a perspective that rattles an echo chamber.
I have had a week of difficult discussions, difficult presentations and difficult preparation and I am feeling wobbly and exhausted from the effort of staying clumsily balanced.
Make Today Remarkable, by walking gingerly,