Today’s movement, #MeToo, has me both disgusted and, at the same time, extremely optimistic. It has me reflecting on one of the most powerful movies I’ve ever seen in my life. The title of the movie is provocative and, to some, understandably, offensive. The film, I hurry to say, was written by a black man. The title, “I’m Not Your Negro.” The creator, James Baldwin, philosopher, poet, filmmaker… and one of my early mentors from afar. Baldwin captured my attention when I was a teenager watching his debate with conservative pundit, and another one of my heroes, William F Buckley Jr., and yet it was this movie that really lit me up. (debate available on YouTube). In fact, the last line of the film was a quote that changed my life and inspired a book I’ve written over 10 years ago, ILLUMINATE The Negative: How To Transform Challenges Into Positive Results. And here’s the quote albeit a tad modified, “we can’t solve everything we face but we can’t solve anything unless we face it.” There it is- a simple yet profound 15 word statement that has been the root philosophy in my personal and professional life-inventions, my health transformation and the results we’ve achieved in our 31 year consulting practice. Operationally it translates into three steps – the first two steps are in clearly in play with the #MeToo movement.
Courageously FACE IT
Inquisitively FOLLOW IT and
Enthusiastically FIX IT.
Seems to me that we are finally FACING the the violent sexual crimes that have been lingering below social and political conversation. We are engaged. Some are surprised, others in process of relief and healing and yet all are disgusted. It’s outrageous. Actresses, Senators and scores of not so famous women are coming out and sharing their experiences. We are beginning to FACE IT. Finally.
And as we inquisitively FOLLOW IT, that is to say, explore how, when and why this behavior occurs and how we, as a society have been in denial about it, we can engage in the important phase of enthusiastically FIXING IT. Enthusiastically? Yes. Remember that the word enthusiastic had its roots in the Greek language; en theos, the God within. Yes, we as a society must tap into the flow of ‘what is right and good’, our immutable values including ‘respect for the individual’ and take wherever courageous and often difficult action Las necessary to FIX IT even if it indicts and penalizes people whom we otherwise like and respect; leaders in politics, sports, entertainment putting them on notice- ready or not, here we come.
To me, these sexual aggressors are like rats in hiding. We must ‘fill the room (wherever) up with water and force then out of hiding for even rats must breathe. These rooms are not limited to the halls of Fox News, Movie Studios, the White House and Congress- these rats reside all over the place and we must flush them out anywhere and everywhere.
And from my view we must also ILLUMINATE our education process- the intentional instructional design and the unintentional ones that are propagated in movies, television and sports where young boys are inadvertently taught that it’s ok and sometimes even ‘cool’ to engage in these behaviors.
I fully support and applaud the #MeToo movement and offer my services in whatever way I can assist.
Ya know, we look back and scratch our heads about things like cigarette smoking, blood letting, saccharine, pesticides in our food, etc. and wonder, “what the hell were we thinking?” It’s difficult to believe that we allowed (and still allow to a degree) such things. Well, after a short while from now we will be looking at the sexual harassment we allowed for so long in the same way. Now is the time. The fight is on. Let’s do this.