the new mainstream: reclaiming the power we give to negativity


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This world believes that negativity is our most powerful commodity. Just look at the power we give it.

We roll along with the perpetual-motion machine of our fascination with “flaws”… We traipse after whichever pundit offers the most biting wit… We worship cleverness over wisdom… We seem compelled to join in with the gnashing of teeth and pounding of fists…

It seems to make us feel “right”, in so many ways, and on so many levels.

But it really just hurls our power and spirit into the black hole of ignorance.

Thank goodness we can change this world.

We can reclaim the great inner power that we give to negativity. It takes patient perseverance and flexibility.

I’m trained as an architect & interior designer. In the design world, criticism often forms the very foundation of our activity. We can find this easily… when we really look for the underlying meaning of much that we do.

When I discovered Buddhist Teachings and began trying to follow Them, I learned that one of my most important practices (and biggest challenges) is trying to maintain mindfulness of speech & mind. I realized that previously, I had been training for decades to find fault.

I began to see that contributing to the design process often requires making comments that might be perceived as hurtful. In that moment of decision-making (What to say, what to say?), I always hate noticing that the most vehemently critical and negative comments may garner the most attention.

Still, we do need to look for better ways of doing things; we just need to do it in a non-destructive manner.

A spectre of confusion hovers menacingly about the intent to improve our minds and world. How do we manage to observe and eradicate perceived “faults” without criticizing unnecessarily?

How can we truly improve this world of ours?

Much of politics revolves around “outsmarting” perceived foes… Much of entrepreneurial “success” relies upon “beating to the punch” and “outdoing the competition”…

There’s a movement towards conscientious entrepreneurship that seems to be building steam, and that’s a good thing.

From my perspective, however, these examples are generally arising within spiritual circles, while the majority of the business world trudges along with the competitive status quo. How can we blend these two worlds more?

I design shopping malls. The mention of sustainability (much less, concern for the welfare of mankind) in that arena usually draws a chuckle… Or confounded silence.

How do we mainstream a movement that is based on acknowledging our interconnectedness?

It would be great to hear figures like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates say, “Our challenge this year is to out-kind our colleagues!” or, “That person out-wised me again! Look how many people benefited! I need to learn their secret!”

For as long as we value cleverness over kindness, we will continue to scratch our heads and wring our hands over the way this world appears.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a foundation would arise that would sponsor a ten-year global study to compare two business models: Cooperative versus Competitive?

I envision a time when I no longer feel that in order to survive in this outer world, I must hide my inner world. As a spiritual person immersed in a worldly world, sometimes I feel like a terrorist being water-boarded… just for trying to keep the faith.

But I do maintain great faith that every moment of positive thought or beneficial intention wields the power to erase centuries of selfishness and “harm”.

I’ve seen the results, and I want to encourage anyone else who wishes for the entire world to experience peace and kindness.

Just keep your intention and turn your back on negativity, and its power will wane with neglect. Stay in the world if you can, and provide an example of being The Exception, until you become the New Mainstream.

Even the tiniest effort produces vast results. Please trust. And thank you for being in my world.

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