How is it that we developed such a tolerance for mediocrity?
We’ll sit in endless meetings that, we suspect quietly, nobody wanted to join in the first place.
We’ll dedicate ourselves to hours of distraction, or chase after alluring but trivial goals (such as having an empty email inbox) instead of turning to someone else in truthful conversation, or inventing something new, or committing ourselves to changing a situation that matters.
We’ll satisfy ourselves with a flip-chart page filled with empty tasks that nobody intends to take on, and applaud how action-oriented we’ve been (all the while avoiding what really needs addressing).
We’ll say “it’s just the way things are”, when it’s clearly not.
We’ll avoid contact with ourselves and others by perpetuating the myth that ‘feelings have no place at work’, when feelings are exactly what connects us to what we most care about.
We’ll blame what ‘they’ do – they made me do it, they don’t understand, they will never change, they don’t listen.
In the end, we develop tolerance for this simply because we’re human.
It’s human to go to sleep to ourselves and our situation. It’s human for what we’re doing to fade into the background and be replaced by unquestioned habit. It’s human to be afraid of what others will think, and to be afraid of our fear. It’s human to fall back into the crowd. And it’s human to distract ourselves from what would most trouble us.
But it’s also human to make a commotion; to commit to something of worth; to risk ourselves in pursuit of what has meaning and integrity; to undo all of the stories we have about how things are and how things should be, and to write new ones.
It’s human to take a stand.
And consequently it’s human to be prepared to stand out on behalf of what really matters.