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A collective OP-ED by Transformational Leaders \ by Geshalem Perez, Earl Speight, Robert Cannellos
“Justice is what love looks like in public.”These are the famous words by Cornel West.
If you are serious about “Being the change we want to see in this world,” then my invitation to you reading this is to start getting in the habit: Stop, Look, Choose, and Do it.
Interpretations shape our world and the world shapes us.
First of all, it is completely okay to give yourself permission to feel however you want/need to feel in this moment. It is okay to allow those emotions to flow through and out of you. Grieve. Release. Breathe in the precious gift of life. Hold that breathe. Savor it. Exhale your contributions into our world. Moment to moment, we have a choice. A choice to Be, and act in such a way that can either move us (as individuals, or as a society) forward, or have us stay stuck and focused on what is familiar, paying attention to repeated patterns or behaviors which no longer serve you.
How often do you Pause before making your next move?
Especially in moments of despair, or discomfort, I invite you to Stop and ask yourself, “From which lense am I viewing this situation?” and “How can I choose Love in this moment?” Keep breathing, and clear your energy by finding ways to ground yourself.
This is our time to step up and BE better humans-Being in our world. We must first BE willing to acknowledge the fact that we will each have our own worldviews – layers upon layers of beliefs each of us hold on to, and most of which were passed down to us from our immediate environments and circumstances. It is our responsibility to recognize where our own set of beliefs and behaviors comes from, so we can begin to shift our collective consciousness into a higher frequency.
At this moment, you have a choice.
Begin to notice what drives you in making your choices. Based on who you choose to Be, and what you choose to act upon, what are you actually committed to?
Energy flows where intention goes.
Therefore, where we place our attention (energy), will allow for our intention to result. When we ask pressing questions, what emerges is an unveiling of the true motives behind the systems that shape our society. It is important to remember we have control over what we choose to put our attention on – whether or not we choose to accept one reality over another, and whether or not we choose to question what’s being presented to us as a society. What can we do?
The first thing is to recognize our own implicit biases – what are some prejudices you might hold that you’re not aware of?
Let’s Acknowledge our History
The cosequences of slavery and Jim Crow Laws are still affecting access to opportunity today. As a result, we have a responsibility as World Citizens to support systemic changes that create equal opportunities for everyone. A few systems which must be addressed are reforming the criminal justice system, ending predatory lending, and protecting voting rights. System issues require system solutions – the silver lining is we are all part of the system which we are co-creating through our choices and actions which align to our beliefs. We all have a role to play in designing a better way to serve and positively impact our collective communities.
I have seen as many examples of Police Brutality as I have years on this planet. From Bull Connor and his dogs in Selma, Alabama, to Rodney King in Los Angeles, Abner Louima and Amadou Diallo in New York are just a few examples that just seem to keep coming. Heaven only knows how many cases go unreported in the immigrant communities. To be honest, I wanted to include an example of at least one high-profile case where whites were victims of Police Brutality and I could not find one. I know it exists, yet news reports are few if any.
The media is dangerously writing a narrative that is unreflective of reality by compartmentalizing society into distinct groups. In this configuration, connectivity and concern is usually concentrated within a distinct group. Indifference about the lives of those outside of our group is much easier as a result. Why would I bring this up when we are talking about Police Brutality and the Black community? In my opinion the “apparatus of separation” succeeds when we can overlook the humanity in other human beings. This imperils all of humanity!
Let me make it plain and clear. When you justify the killing of any human being, you open the doors to the possibility that it could be you someday, therefore justifying our own demise. When we protect the lives of all people, we create a safe environment where even our own individual agency to live is immutable.
What a world we could create if by some chance the mere notion of inflicting violence on another person’s life became unimaginable, unacceptable, and even forbidden?
Let’s consider one of these systems in which we have a prime opportunity to change – the Electoral College and the protection of our voting rights. The question here is, “how equitable can a system be when it was designed from a racist lens?”
The Electoral College has failed to serve our modern society. Originally created in 1787 (nearly 80 years prior to the passing of the 13th Amendment), the Electoral College was built on racist beliefs. The fact there was a debate around “How slaves should be counted for the purposes of congressional representation and Electoral College votes…[which resulted in] the infamous Three-Fifths Compromise, which counted enslaved people as three-fifths of a whole person to apportion seats in the House of Representatives” ought to be grounds alone to dismantle a system which in our modern society dilutes democracy.
Given our large population and societal autonomy –
Voting in presidential elections in the USA ought to be: one Citizen, one vote. What if voting for President was based on the same popular vote count as in local elections? What if every vote for President mattered and weighed equally to build inclusivity? What if voting were accessible, easy, and viewed as a privilege, instead of a right?
What if every single person living in this nation made themselves count by submitting their Census survey? What would happen if every eligible voter in this nation 1) were fined a $100 fee every time they didn’t vote & 2) were required to vote in all elections? What kind of informed society would we have then?
In my humble opinion, these current events happening in our cities, nation, and world are a reminder for us all to be our neighbor’s keeper.
Here is a list of questions to reflect on as to allow for a new world to emerge:
How will I contribute to the conversation to turn things around? What is your intention behind your contributions? What is a purpose greater than yourself that you can confidently get behind to drive you to action? What do you say you care about? Do your actions align to what you say you care about?
What kind of world do you want to live in? Check in with yourself, first. Take a few minutes to write down your reflections. Consider what you have to offer as an effective tool for socio-political change.
Most importantly, I invite you to lean into engaging in conversations about racism – the blatant truth is we must be willing to get uncomfortable, and “put ourselves there” to make an impact in our world. Let’s look outside of ourselves to operate into what is best for the greater collective. What if we Paused to LISTEN to one another as an act of love?
We are responsible to be here. Who is responsible for what is happening in our world? Who is responsible for the creation of what is unfolding in our world. We are responsible for leaving our environment better than we found it. We are responsible for holding people in authority accountable. What lessons will we implement from the past? During the Indigenous and Civil Rights Movements of the 1960s, boycotts were effective because entire communities stood together to creatively devise another way for themselves to operate. Hence, for example, instead of taking a bus, groups of people would offer carpools, or walk in solidarity with one another to put into action the sentiments of the day.
Where you invest your money on a daily basis is just as important as where you invest your money for your future.
Reflections in Nature | by Robert Cannellos
I have a unique viewpoint on the current events that we are experiencing in this country and the world, we are in a different world now and nothing is going back to what we called “normal.” As the news portrays fear on a 24-7 basis jumping from one crisis to another – once you remove yourself from that narrative – the whole world changes.
People are waking up to see that there is an agenda being installed–
even in the destruction in our cities as protests are being used (by outsiders that are not local) to start riots and destroy peoples neighborhoods. It’s truly disheartening.
I am awake and leading by example to help people I meet to wake up and see what’s going on in the cities. For myself, I am following a personal vision to create freedom, peace and awakening, and I’m doing this by example.
I have let go of my home and most of my belongings and built a van to travel the country and discover what I don’t know…that I don’t know. I spend my time exploring our beautiful country visiting natural sites and sacred places in nature – where there are no such elements as racism, inequality or repression…
Everything in the forest is completely present and working together. Since I don’t watch television, I was truly shocked at what was unfolding in the country when I was on a zoom call for a class I am taking. The sadness and heartbreak all the students were feeling was shocking to me as I learned what was going on in the country following the terrible incident in Minnesota.
What I realized was that there is so much power in the media–
When we aren’t connected to it, and step back to see how it’s triggering fear and unrest, whether it be a lockdown or a riot, it’s still distracting the people on the planet to their true purpose and power, which is to be creators.
The truth I see is that we are all highly intelligent multi-dimensional beings that have abilities to connect using our words or our intuition, and the majority of the population have forgotten this and wait to be told what to think by the programming on the television. In my travels and while spending a lot of time in nature, I have a lot of time to sit with the trees, the animals and the earth. There is no fear or pandemic out here… there is a balance where all beings work in a system and all are equal, and are totally present and connected.
This is when I had an “a-ha” moment when I first heard of the violence and riots,
I went outside and saw the trees swaying in the wind, and the animals doing what they do every day, eat, play, hunt, gather and procreate, all completely connected to their purpose and their planet.
What is our purpose? When I ask people what they are here to do – many times they tell me about their job (which 75% are unhappy with), and their family or their interests, but not what they are here to do or to be.
This is why I am travelling and working with people to find their true gifts and step into their purpose, which eventually leads to their freedom. What I have come to learn in my 60 years on the planet is that we are one being, one breath, one heart. The illusion being portrayed in the media is that we are separate; we are to stay silent and cover our face.
The truth is that we are now going through a great test–
One where we get to determine what kind of society we live in and how we as humans respect each other, the planet and all her beings. Our desire is to be at peace, be in unity and to raise the veil to see the truth of what’s happening and can see beyond the matters at hand – lift the veil and create the world we want to see. Once we know we are here for a reason, we get to choose why we are here. We have all of the resources within us to be rooted in our hearts and stay in the light to walk on this path of freedom, to walk this path in the most peaceful way. We honor this beautiful earth and all it’s creatures, we see what we are created for.
That is my personal mission and I’m standing in my power to help people awaken on their journey and step into their true freedom.