People are basically good. Sure, there’s a few exceptions. Though I find that as we sit with our news feed and the dramatic headlines that cause near daily indigestion, it’s easy to forget just how far we’ve come. Let me give an example.
Last week I had the opportunity to facilitate a retreat for a city council in a neighboring state. The council has a few newly elected members who are inexperienced, youthful, and excited for change. Their very presence represented a challenge to the status quo. Coupled with that, all council members are under pressure to vote in ways that represent the citizens who elected them. As we are all aware, we are living through what is perhaps one of the most politically polarized chapters in US history.
For this particular group of elected officials, the stakes are high, the pressure is real, and the different perspectives that each of them have offer plenty of room for personalities to clash. My job was to bring them to the table to discuss their difference in opinions and explore ways they could overcome those differences to make the best possible decisions on behalf of their citizens.
I found myself as a facilitator needing to set aside my own political ideals and simply focus on the person, not the politics. I am grateful that the very process forced me to find the good in each member of that group, and to help them focus on the same. They agreed that unity did not need to mean uniformity, and that differences can be discussed with dignity. It was awe-inspiring to watch the divisions melt away in a spirit of shared purpose.
The whole process was extremely successful and I am confident in this group’s ability to accomplish great things. I left that meeting with a deep sense of inspiration, based on this single thought: people are basically good. We all have hopes and dreams, fears and regrets, and long to share a sense of love with our friends and families. At the end of the day, we have more to celebrate than we do to simply ‘tolerate’.
As president, Daniel leads the team at TRP Enterprises to help inspire and uplift through world-class training programs.