How close of attention do you pay to current events? Do you react emotionally to traumatic news? What course of action is most likely to bring about positive and lasting results?
For those of you who are on the famous ‘Low Information Diet’ of Tim Ferris, this may come as a surprise. Things are quite a bit crazier than usual in a large portion of the United States. It’s as if 1918 and 1968 decided to get together for a Greatest Hits tour in 2020.
The idea of the Low Information Diet is that in order to stay focused on your own goals and put 100% of your energy into your personal and business development you need to basically ignore the news. Most of what’s happening is going on elsewhere and has little to no effect on you immediately. If the fire is not on your block, there’s no need to concern yourself with it.
The author of The Four-Hour Workweek certainly makes a valid point. A glance at the headlines or a chat with a neighbor is often enough to keep you apprised of the major developments in the world. But when something happens that touches a nerve or puts your entire worldview into question it’s only natural to want to know the whole story. We humans can’t resist a gripping narrative, especially when we’re living smack dab in the middle of history.
In case you missed it, the short story is that some folks got tired of the pandemic and decided that what we need is an old-fashioned race war. It’s as if our house was already on fire, so they decided to spray gasoline instead of water and light it using the brutal murder of George Floyd as the match. It comes on the anniversary of a dark and often forgotten chapter in US history – the Tulsa Race Riot happened 99 years ago to the day.
This newsletter is a weekly exercise in sharing inspiration and hopefully offering you, dear reader, some insights and positive messages to uplift your week. But much as I’d love to keep my head in the sand and simply wax poetic about rainbows and lollipops, I have to face facts and occasionally acknowledge the world and culture we share. Much like a full-spectrum dance experience, we encounter more feelings other than ecstasy.
That said, regardless of the topic, these notes are underpinned by the word love in the title, so I’ll do my best to bolster that feeling in you and perhaps offer a glimmer of hope. Our current moment calls for me to explain my thoughts on the difference between ‘power’ and ‘force’.
First, a little background. If one is to accept the notion that some of the less-than-scrupulous leaders around the world have a vested interest in maintaining their grip on control, then the idea that they would use unethical methods to do so is entirely plausible.
In other words, as long as us folks down on the ground are busy battling over hot-button cultural issues like race, social justice, gender dynamics, or the all-important question of pineapple on pizza , the crooks at the top can keep on criming with impunity.
The more we are divided along cultural lines, the less power we have to enact lasting structural change. And make no mistake, our power is what they fear. The corrupt few at the nexus of transnational organized crime, compromised governments, and global corporations know that their grip is tenuous. Fear is the motivator and force is the tool.
The term is ‘provokatsiya ’ and with it comes the ‘active measures’ that inflame a targeted populace by a foreign power. Once events spiral out of control it’s nearly impossible to parse the peaceful protestors from the provocateurs. One thing is for sure, kleptocracy thrives in the soil of chaos. Amplifying our supposed divisions by pushing our emotional buttons is a time-tested technique.
In his landmark book ‘Power vs Force’, David Hawkins says “it’s apparent that all of mankind is actually motivated by inner love, but has simply become unaware.” In his system of calibrating the levels of consciousness, love scores far higher than fear, anger, or pride.
When we let our emotions run rampant and react without thinking, we run the risk of losing sight of our higher purpose. There are FAR more of us who choose equality, justice, and fairness than those who don’t. There are FAR more of us with love in our hearts than hate. But peaceful protests are a ratings bust. The media eye prefers spectacle over nuance every time.
A good way to illustrate the difference between power and force is to look at the words and actions of two of the central figures in the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King Jr. exemplified the power of peaceful protest and said “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Malcolm X , on the other hand, said “It’s hard for anyone intelligent to be nonviolent. ” History shows the difference in results that these two approaches achieved. Fast-forward to today and it’s obvious that violence plays right into the hands of those who seek an authoritarian state. Protests provide cover for people planted to fan the flames. One guy with a hammer and a black umbrella can poison the media narrative while thousands of peaceful protestors are barely noticed.
Here and there we are seeing positive examples of the power of peace. In contrast to the violent clashes, some police officers across the country are using a different approach and kneeling alongside protestors in a show of support for George Floyd and social justice. It’s far more difficult to hijack actions such as this into a violent narrative, and the power of such symbology is impossible to erase.
What we have to remember is that we have the love, we have the numbers, and we have the power. The factions of fear have a lot to lose and will use any amount of force to hold on to their ill-gotten assets. Force pushes us to fight, to flee, to fear, to cower. Power asks us to show up, stand tall, be steadfast, and speak the truth. The power of love trumps the force of fear every time.
We’re all dancing on a tightrope with pandemic on one side and chaos on the other. Let love be your balance and let power be your guide as you keep your eye on the prize ahead – a world where peace, justice, and equality reign supreme.
Much love till next week, stay safe and be strong…
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine