Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Positive Change

The weekend before last, I presented a program for Carver Pump Company in Muscatine, Iowa. In addition to the family atmosphere amongst their staff and co-workers, I was also impressed to learn that, in the midst of the current economic climate, their biggest challenge at Carver Pump Co. is going to be keeping up with all the orders they already have on the books for 2009. In the words of one of their staff members, "We've elected to not participate in the current recession."

This really is the attitude to have. It's easy to get caught up in the worries over downturns and shortfalls. But our perceptions really do, to a very large degree, determine our reality. So a realistic, but positive attitude of confidence and determination to succeed can go a long way, even when things are tough all around us. And of course it's also important to note that a huge part of Carver Pump Co.'s success is based on the spirit of community within the company.

You can see the recession as a reason to fail: everyone else is doing it, it's a handy excuse if things don't go your way. Or you can see it as a challenge to be met; one that urges you to rise to the occasion. It's really up to you... and if you manage or supervise other people, you can lead in this way as well, and use the challenges as a motivating factor: "We're all in this together!"

Personally, I see the current situation as inevitable and necessary. We've been running things, politically and economically, in a totally unsustainable, inequitable, unjust, and unrealistic manner that was doomed to eventual and unavoidable collapse. We just didn't realize it. This is the necessary end to that way of doing things that had to happen in order to awaken us to the realities of the results of our collective actions, so that we can find a better way of being in the world.

This is a historic turning point, and a monumental opportunity to create a better way of living on our planet; one that is more just, purposeful, healthy, and sustainable. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I believe we are on the cusp of a totally new way if life... IF we can accept that business as it has been is no longer tenable, IF we can let go of our irrational attachment to over-cunsumption, greed, and "more!", and if we can choose to truly move forward in a more rational and humane manner.

Change is good.