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The Power of a Myth

Mythology exists in all aspects of our life. We believe we are a country of intelligent, entrepreneurial, caring, radical individualists who come together to share our resources and skills and make the world a better place. It likely doesn’t matter where you live, The myth of people and place is pretty powerful. And there is some truth in every myth.
We listen to our Genesis stories; as people, cities, companies and celebrate them by rewriting them to fit our current expectations, mores, attitudes and regrets. The adaptability and flexibility of our stories reflects that we understand that they may never have happened but are definitely true.

My myths keep me safe, keep me calm, help me stay rooted and inspire me. I have absorbed some from my kin and their strange Scottish Scandinavian practices and history. I was taught some from my grandmother and mother that form the basis for my morality and responsibility. I have crafted a few myths myself so I am able to continue doing what I do and to justify my actions in the face of resistance. As the narratives become embedded they earn mythology status, for a time. They are relative to an audience that is predisposed to the lesson. Christians lean towards and love Christian narratives although most zealots would be uncomfortable with the myth reference since they see the stories as complete and inerrant.

There are myths about the glories of capitalism that supporters love and myths that deride and denigrate capitalism that detractors love. Myth – Under capitalism, anyone who works hard can succeed. Myth – Under capitalism only those with a silver spoon get to eat from the golden dish. Sometimes the myth is accepted by both perspectives but for completely different reasons. Myth – We are all in the same boat.

I was raised with a protestant work ethic with tinges of puritan morals so shaking those off and seeing the world with more joy, hope and optimism was a long process and there are days that the baggage rears its head as a defense mechanism against an idea, a party, a person who I disagree with. When I am struggling to understand I can twist and turn my personal narratives with all kinds of logical fallacies. I see injustice when none exists, I hear slander in feedback, I taste opposition in diversity but on the days that I trust and hope (another area of mythology) I grow in all those circumstances.

Myth, as a social construct, is most often destructive as we are seeing in a current election campaign. The myths of race, gender, ethnicity, orientation, money creates sides and factions. And when you choose a team or are picked for a team loyalty overwhelms our senses. I have found myself accepting and then defending something that didn’t sit right because it was part of the team’s narrative. Political parties and religious factions have notorious influence on the common sense and common decency of adherents. When the narrative creates a them and us, it is time to deconstruct it and hold it up to the brightest light because it is likely in service of an agenda that is self serving and selfish.

I love myths, ancient and modern. Like the heroes of ancient myths, modern superheroes have extraordinary powers. The most famous superhero is Superman, created by American cartoonists Jerry Siegel and Joseph Shuster in 1938. In comics and on radio, television, and movie screens, he fights for “truth, justice, and the American way,” using his powers of flight and incredible strength, powers he possesses because he is from another planet. Like most modern superheroes, Superman keeps his identity a secret and pretends to be an ordinary man. Such myths suggest that anyone can have unsuspected potential for heroism.

Make Today Remarkable, because you believe the myth that you are,

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Persistence

We don’t live a solely self determined life. If we live, work and [lay with others, they impact us positively and negatively. With the exception of a despot we can’t make people bend to our will and we can’t be bent. We can become persistent in our approach to the blessing of each day we are given. This isn’t the strong headed stubbornness of childhood but rather a daily reminder and commitment to our values and our goals.

When I hold the value that all people are capable I need to act that out each day even when it would be easier to find someone else or do it myself. If I believe that remarkable people are remarkable because they use their strengths to strengthen others then I need to find ways to lift people up but not carry them on my back. I am committed to being healthier so I need to be more food aware and vigilant that my french fry addiction doesn’t take over. I also need to exercise every day because when I ‘take a day off’ it has a history of turning into two..

I am successful when I do the things I do because of the things I believe. Values and action when married create a perfect persistence.

What are three values that you hold today and how are you acting to keep them at the forefront of this week?

persistence

 

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What is Your Angel List?

Listening to Tim Ferris Show┬áthis morning; an interview with Naval Ravikant, founder of AngelList (World’s largest online fundraising platform for startups). They talked about great investment opportunities and it prompted me to think about where I was investing. Where am I storing up my treasures, emotional, relational, time, intellect? Where am I investing myself?

I don’t like what I discovered. Ignorance is bliss. I am investing a lot of Bob in places/activities/ideas that don’t align with who I say I am and who I hope to be. There are a number of areas where I have skewed my spending but one in particular jumped to my attention. I spend time thinking about, worrying about, talking about politics. I have no real influence, no real expectation of change, and get no ‘enjoyment’ from partisanship. Why would I circle this toilet? Why would I read ┬ácommentary, listen to speeches, consider supporting a candidate, making a donation? After my investment analysis I am committing to voting on October 20 (I know who I will vote for) but I am not giving any more of my assets to this endeavor.

I am taking the time, energy, resources from this divestment and reinvesting in people and personal experiences with my beloved. We can realign values and spending and this is where I am starting.

Make Today Remarkable, by analyzing your investments,

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