We all watch the consternation of Congress and the ineffective strategies being played out there, and for one, I wonder how the refusers can stand without even one leg. Refusers are those people who cross their arms, or cover their ears and refuse to participate. They refuse to share. They refuse to cooperate. They refuse to allow others to move forward. They are the gridlock drivers of our society. They park in the middle of the intersections, blocking others from moving, and when people object they shut their engine off and park it right there n the way.
What works in so many and obvious ways, is to extend a hand.
Celebrity guest on the Daily Show with John Stewart last night, Common, spoke eloquently about our nation's deep racial issues. He likened them to a marriage on the rocks where a good conversation is needed more than hate and divorce. I agree, and say, "Why not extend a hand?"
And, when someone else has the temerity, courage, confidence, and strength of good character to extend a hand first, why not be with them? Why not be like-minded and of like character? Why not extend your hand in return?
Power is not seen in the destructive ways of Isis. Power is not found in refusing to cooperate. These are the tantrums of Kindergarteners. But, where two bind together in a common cause, where one accepts and encourages another, a third will find inclusion. Where two become three community grows. The power of community trumps the isolation of refusal every time.
The phantom goal of perfect solutions destroys all possibilities, and when a refuser points at a single flaw as reason enough to not work anymore, the issue isn't the flaw. Rush Limbaugh is a leader of refusers. Teacher unions are refusers of progress - not the teachers - but the unions that seek their own survival. The Republicans could be a good and guiding force, but they have become a voice for refusing any imperfect solution (followers of Rush Limbaugh) as if they hold the high ground.
Power is found in sustained change. Sustained change must be made of positive change because negative change destroys and after a while there is nothing sustained. Look at Syria. Where's the sustained change going to be found? In piles of rubble and bones?
When leading people onto a path that leads to their success I find that extending a hand is the beginning of connection, the beginning of hope, the beginning of strengthening, the prologue to building something. I am amazed by how frequently I see their hesitancy because they have known too often the frustration and bitterness of refusal.
My greatest hope is that adults will learn to not respond in kind to the pouty tantrums of refusers, but will instead stand, extend a hand, and team up with someone to build a good thing. Why not?