I wrote the following blog on the 21st January 2009, the day after President Obama’s inauguration.
“From 'Yes we can' to Now We are
As a speaker I watched President Barack Obama's inauguration speech in awe and with tears in my eyes. As a fellow human being I was struck by his use of the word we. I felt in my heart that this is the beginning of a ‘now we are’ time like never before in history.
I am trusting that the 20th January 2009 is the day we will look back on as the day we really began to
make poverty history
provide clean water for every human being
stop people dying from preventable disease
make peace with one another regardless of our religious or political beliefs
collaborate to tackle climate change
build sustainable businesses
allow every human being the opportunity to have a home, earn a livelihood, receive an education and health care
free the world from violence
I am pessimistically optimistic!”
Since then we have made some progress yet I am disappointed. So I suspect are you and President Obama!
We still have a broken financial system in addition to the problems mentioned above and perhaps above all we are stuck with a broken political system.
In the prologue to my Changing What’s Normal book published in June 2011 I wrote:
“From a distance Barack Obama seems to me to be a warm, wise, and wonderful human being, and one of the most articulate people of his generation, perhaps of all time.
He was given a Nobel Peace Prize based on what he might do, rather than on what he had done, in my view. It is a false hope unless ...
Despite his personal significance Barack Obama is primarily powerless to change what is normal in our world. His “Yes we can” has become “No we can’t”, unless ...
In an excellent book, a New York Times No. 1 bestseller Switch - how to change things when change is hard, the authors Chip and Dan Heath propose a great three-phase process for change: direct
our rational mind, motivate our emotional side, and shape the path of change. Their book is about behaviour change that will rarely happen unless ...
Most training or change programs undertaken by millions of people every day fail to lead to behaviour change unless ...
The unless I refer to is: unless intention changes.
The Republican politicians in the United States of America’s parliament have an intention, it seems to me, to replace Barack Obama, a Democrat, with one of their own. This intention drives everything they do.
The members of the Liberal/Nationals coalition party in my home country, Australia, have the same intent. They want one of their own as our Prime Minister, and it drives everything they do.
This kind of intention has political parties, not in government, all over the world by the throat, and we are all choking as a result.
This kind of intention means good, sound ideas, put forward by politicians in power, rarely see the light of day and compromise and inaction is the result.
Success depends on where intention is. Right now the political intentions of most are in the wrong place and, therefore, we are heading as a human race to the wrong place.
Consider just two facts, undisputed by any thinking person:
1. How most of us live in the world is unsustainable.
2. More than 6 million children under the age of five die every year, that’s 16,000 per day, simply because they do not have the right nutrition.
We have the solutions to both these problems and many others we are failing to solve. Why have we failed? We have failed because the intention of most is about I rather than we, which means winners and losers.
Changing what’s normal is about changing our intention to one where everyone can win.”
Mr. Obama’s recent award by Time Magazine is also I feel one of hope.
I am optimistic that Mr. Obama will take significant actions in his last four years in office that will make the world a better place however no matter what he does, no matter how inspirational and influential he is, each one of us must bring our best to the table.
The world is not going to end tomorrow. The Mayans never said it would! Their insights are not about the end rather a new beginning.
Bring your best to 2013 and may we together end the world as we know it and usher in a new world where 'Yes we can' has become Now We Are.
Be the difference you want to see in the world.
I work with business owners/leaders of medium sized business and leaders of divisions in multi-national companies to lift employee performance by enhancing their gifts.