Shipping Matters

By | Emotional Intelligence, Advice, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, New Posts, Peacemaker, Problem Solving, Relationships, Resolution, Social, Social Communication, Strategies, Strategy, Training, Truth, Workplace, Workplace Development

When we fetishize the act of failure more so than the lessons learned from risk-taking, shipping a product takes a back seat to preening in public.

Ok. But what is shipping?

Shipping is getting an idea out to the world.

Shipping is putting a product out on the market.

Shipping is connecting people together in a network.

Shipping is showing up and working with your whole heart.

Shipping is talking to that person in charge who you don’t want to talk to.

The act of shipping—delivering a product, idea, message, or service to the world, whether the world is ready for it or not—is the most important thing.

The lessons we learn from the act of shipping matter more, in the long run, than the act of failing to get people, audiences, and the market to “buy-in.”

It wasn’t that way for the majority of humanity over the last 5,000 years, and particularly in the last 150 years. But now, at this point in human social and economic history, shipping matters more than whatever you learned after the shipping happened.

Stop fetishizing the act of failure.

Start fetishizing the act of shipping.

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Six, Episode # 2 – Eric Goldman

By | Emotional Intelligence, Active Listening, Arbitration, Blog, Earbud_U Podcast, Earbud_U!, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Mediation, Negotiation, New Earbud_U Episodes, New Posts, Opinions, Organizational Development, Peacemaker, Podcast Archives, Podcast Episode, Reconciliation, Relationships, Selling for Peace Builders, Storytelling, Workplace, Workplace Development

Earbud_U, Season Six, Episode # 2 – Eric Goldman, Entertainment Lawyer, Mediator, Entrepreneur, Shaman, Profit-Leader-Coach

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Six, Episode #2 - Eric Goldman

Side hustles.

Uber drivers.

Amazon arbitrage.

Freelance income.

Consulting.

Speaking gigs.

Selling apps.

Drone rides.

There are more and more and more ways for your employees to work “on the side” than ever before. And as these pockets of work become more and more profitable, you as an employer will have to negotiate, not against an employee’s behavior in the workplace (although that will still happen) but against an employee’s side work.

Which is why what our guest today, Eric Goldman, is going to talk about makes so much sense.

But he isn’t the first to note the trendlines, and he won’t be the last.

The fact is, it’s never been easier for your employees to have choices about how and where to collect extra income, that you as an employer may not be aware of.

If this type of behavior—which is reflective of overall shifts in consumer behavior—doesn’t scare you (or at least get you to pay attention) into beginning to shift how you address employee concerns and balance profits, then I don’t know what will.

As usual, connect with Eric Goldman in all the ways that you can by clicking on the links below:

Eric Goldman – Profit Leader Coach: http://www.profitleadercoach.com/

Eric Goldman: http://www.esgesq.com/

Eric Goldman on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eric.goldman.986

Eric Goldman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/EricGoldmanEsq

Eric Goldman on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericsgoldmanllc/

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Six, Episode # 1 – Kate Otting

By | Advice, Blog, Earbud_U Podcast, Earbud_U!, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Media, Mediation, New Earbud_U Episodes, New Posts, Opinions, Organizational Development, Peacemaker, Platform Building, Podcast Archives, Podcast Episode, Relationships

Earbud_U, Season Six, Episode # 1 – Kate Otting, Mediator, Ombudsperson, Entrepreneur, Organizational Peacebuilder, Founder/Owner-Interaction Management Associates

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Six, Episode #1 - Kate Otting

Hello and welcome, back to the sixth season, which is really the third year, of the Earbud_U Podcast.

So, I’d like to use this time to mention some changes that you are going to hear over the next few months, throughout this season and into season seven, next year.

First, there will be a lot more of Jesan just ranting. This is because—as a result of positive activity on my Youtube Channel, Jesan Sorrells Presents, I’ve been getting a lot of requests to pull the audio from the videos that I’m cutting, and to make that audio available in other formats.

Like here on the podcast.

So, I’m going to do that.

The second thing that you will notice is that I’m going to ask you all to DO stuff for me a lot more obviously than I have before.

This is not advertising. It’s actually helping the show, boosting our place in iTunes and on Stitcher and making it possible for advertisers to support the show. By the way, if there are particular advertisers you’d like me to pursue, reach out to me via all the ways you can on social media and let me know.

Lastly, the audio is about to take a major step forward. I’ve been pursuing a studio space so that I can move the podcast out of my basement (or my home office) and into a soundproof area. It will make it be more professional and less gritty, sure. But it will also help me do other things.

Speaking of other things, our guest today on the show, Kate Otting owns her own mediation practice, Interaction Management Associates, based in Arizona. She has a wide range of interests, but she is focusing on one of the grittier realities of our modern world, diasporas.

You know, the reality of people moving around.

Look, when populations move, everything changes. Some of those changes we like—such as new foods that we can eat, or new clothes that we can try on. Some of those changes we don’t like—such as people living next door to us who might speak a different language.

Every change is unique, just like every story. And Kate will walk us through a lot of this, though not all of it, and will make the complicated, and complex, understandable.

As usual, connect with Kate and Interaction Management Associates in all the ways that you can by clicking on the links below:

Interaction Management Associates: https://imamediation.com/

Interaction Management Associates on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InteractionManagementAssociates/

Interaction Management Associates on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ima_mediator/

Interaction Management Associates on Twitter: https://twitter.com/imassoc

Kate Otting and Interaction Management Associates on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/imamediation/

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Five, Episode # 4 – Nasha Taylor

By | Blog, Culture, Earbud_U Podcast, Earbud_U!, Entrepreneurship, New Posts, Peacemaker, Podcast Archives, Podcast Episode, Problem Solving, Storytelling

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Five, Episode # 4 – Nasha Taylor, Community Connector, Networker, Cultural Strategist, Media Savvy Engager, and Entrepreneur

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Five, Episode #4 - Nasha Taylor

Connection is currency.

Connection is the currency that matters in the 21st century.

There is a network leap from Google to the “real” world is the only type of value that will matter for the 21st century.

Welcome to the show! This is Earbud_U Season Five, Episode #4!

Our guest today, Nasha Taylor, has a brain that works, as she says, “like a Wi-Fi router.”

She is a teacher, a role model, a connector, and is “work” to providing service to all in all the ways that matter.

Talking about circuitous journeys can help us discover how to connect with others in the ways that matter, help us ask and answer the right questions, and gain the courage to seek and implement the right solutions to our most pressing problems.

Helping people feel safe through change is the point of all of this, and Nasha is going to talk about all of this today on the show!

Connect with Nasha in all the ways that you can below:

Nasha’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/NashaTaylor

Nasha’s FB: https://www.facebook.com/nasha.taylor

Nasha’s LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nashataylor/

Nasha’s Coffe Business: http://nashataylor.myorganogold.com

[Advice] Prepare for the Baby

By | Emotional Intelligence, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, New Posts, Old Posts, Peacemaker, Persuasion, Problem Solving, Reconciliation, Relationships, Resolution, Speaking, Storytelling

Before a new baby comes into the world, usually a family diligently prepares for its arrival.

The family prepares the environment that the baby will thrive in, from the set-up of the room to the clothes the new baby will come home in.

The family prepares their emotional life as well, changing their hearts and minds in preparation for a new life, a new voice, and a new perspective.

The family prepares their financial life, hopefully putting money aside, creating a savings plan, and otherwise prepping for the addition of a new person who will have needs and wants that must be met.

The family prepares their spiritual life as well, shifting their mindsets, their worship and even thinking about new traditions and how to integrate the new baby into their lives.

When a new baby comes into the world, a family prepares at all levels for the arrival of the baby.

In the Western world, there’s a reason that Thanksgiving precedes Christmas and Christmas precedes the New Year.

The transition from holiday to holiday is not about materialism, commercialism, or even marketing.

The transitions are about gratefulness (preparing the heart), arrival (the baby is born), and possibility (the future is bright).

In conflict, let us not forget the importance of growth into these transitions. Let us prepare our hearts, and our relationships, as diligently as we prepare for the arrival of a new baby into our homes, our communities, and our neighborhoods.

[Advice] Self-Awareness, Altruism, and Critical Reasoning

By | Emotional Intelligence, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Negotiation, New Posts, Old Posts, Opinions, Organizational Development, Peacemaker, Persuasion, Problem Solving, Reconciliation, Relationships, The Future & The Singularity

As people choose the messages that they will receive and believe, does self-awareness, critical reasoning, and altruism matter?

  • There are people in the United States who have no idea that conflicts between police and African American communities are raging.
  • There are people in the United States who have no idea who’s running for President, or why, even as November 8th approaches.
  • There are people who are unaware that there are celebrity divorces going on, sports controversies, and other, seemingly ‘low-level’ and ‘unimportant’ cultural conflicts going on right now.
  • There are people who are unaware of the presence of wars (and rumors of wars) in the world today.

When mass media falls apart at scale, and when the historical, cultural, political, and social forces that used to bind disparate populations in the United States together in the last century and a half, no longer matter, can altruism, critical reasoning, and self-awareness matter?

Or, are we returning to a smaller, localized, conflict-ridden past that may be out of our historical memory, but that hews closer to the way people have always interacted?

And the sub-question: Cui bono? Who benefits the most from this seeming cultural return to a baseline we don’t remember?

[Advice] Evolving Cultural Sensibilities and ADR

By | Advice, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Consulting, Culture, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Marketing for Peace Builders, Mediation, Negotiation, New Posts, Old Posts, Opinions, Peacemaker, Platform Building, Problem Solving, Reconciliation, Relationships, Resolution, Selling for Peace Builders, Strategies, Strategy, Technology, Training, Workplace, Workplace Development, Workshop

As the economic, cultural, and spiritual forces that used to bind us together continue to refragment from overarching macro-cultures to indispensable micro-cultures, alternative dispute resolution practitioners must take notice.

Overarching macro-culture was driven by communal events, television, economic stability, and overarching cultural “norms” that allowed people to engage in conflicts and disputes with the same regularity they always have, but also allowed the impacts of those conflicts to be dampened.

Indispensable micro-culture is driven by technology, network connections that defy geography and notice, a dismissal of the status quo, and a strong identity component. People still have conflict in these micro-cultures (what used to be called “sub-cultures”). But the impacts of those conflicts are like wildfires that catch the masses attention for a moment, but without a “there” there, there is little sustained effort mounted to ameliorate the effects upon people in those micro-culture conflicts.

Conflict resolvers, conflict coaches, conflict engagers, mediators, arbitrators, and others have watched this evolution occur over the last fifty or so years, with greater acceleration, but the response to the evolution through providing access points to conflict resolution has not been as quick. This is mainly for three reasons:

  • Indispensable micro-culture is still seen as “niche” and not really enough to build a business model on by the entrepreneurial conflict resolver. This is a terrible fact, but except for some people doing some great work in resolving conflicts in specific areas with specific groups in conflicts (i.e. with parties in churches, with divorcing or separating pet owners, etc.) there is more focus by ADR professionals on how to gain credibility with the courts—still standing as the last guardians of a passing away overarching macro-culture.
  • There are still enough parties in conflict participating in the remaining civic life of a formerly overarching macro-culture. This is something that will pass away over time, but right now, there are enough of the “masses” left around that many professional conflict resolvers look at the problems and conflicts of that group and decide to address their issues first. Both as a way to make a “dent” in the universality of conflict, and to make money from a reliable income stream.
  • Refragmentation is still not understood—or accepted psychologically, emotionally, or spiritually—as an inevitable outcome of the erosion of the twin, post-World War 2 oligopolies of corporation and government. Now, this is not to say that government will disappear either now or later; but the fact is, that as conflicts and disputes between parties in indispensable micro-culture become harder and harder to understand, the overarching macro-culture responses from government entities (i.e. new laws, regulations, taxes, and fees) will be less and less effective. This is because indispensable micro-culture conflicts are driven by esoteric, identity based rules, that require conflict resolvers to engage in relationships with those cultures to resolve—and to go beyond the overarching macro-culture rubric of intercultural communication skill sets.

None of these three areas are that daunting to overcome. And once overcome, the business models to get ideas for resolution to people in conflict begin to overwhelm the entrepreneurial conflict resolver. All that is required to get there is the courage of conflict resolvers to act outside of the “box” they have been trained in.

[Opinion] The Quality of Mercy Doesn’t Scale…and Never Will…

By | Active Listening, Advice, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Emotional Intelligence, Facebook, Google, Media, New Posts, Old Posts, Opinions, Peacemaker, Problem Solving, Reconciliation, Relationships, Resolution, Social, Social Communication, Social Media, Storytelling, Strategies, Strategy, Twitter, Twitter, Virtue

From the Coliseum to Facebook, there has rarely been any mercy from the mob watching the participants in the arena.

The reason the writers of the Constitution favored a Republic over all else, was that they believed the mob was a dangerous, unpredictable force that moved without logic, rationality, reason, or mercy. And then the horrors of the French Revolution proved them correct about human nature.

In modern times, we have psychological and sociological surveys, assessments, and experiments, that show that when it is possible for individuals to stand-by, and watch degradations happen to others, people will. This is called the Bystander Effect.

In modern times, we have psychological and sociological surveys, assessments, and experiments, that show that when it is possible for the mass of people to suffer the injustices of the moment as long as those injustices do not personally affect them in any way, people will. This is called social proofing.

In modern times, we have psychological and sociological surveys, assessments, and experiments, that show that when it is possible to go along with others en masse as an event of any kind happens, because that even happening confirms a belief deeply and long held, people will. This is called confirmation bias.

The quality of mercy comes about when you know someone personally; when you are connected to their story intimately; and when you empathize with their struggle in a real and powerful way.

The quality of mercy cannot scale.

The outcomes of mercy—justice, forgiveness, reconciliation—can scale, but the actual quality of mercy comes along in an individualized process that cannot be scaled, and must instead be seeded, from one person to another.

No matter whether you’re among the mob watching in the Coliseum, or among the mob engaging on Facebook.

A Treatise on the Evil in the Human Heart

By | Active Listening, Advice, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Culture, Dysfunction, Education, Emotional Intelligence, HIT Pieces, Leadership, New Posts, Old Posts, Opinions, Peacemaker, Privacy, Problem Solving, Reconciliation, Relationships, Resolution, Social Communication, Strategies, Strategy, Stress, Truth, Virtue

Jesan Sorrells of Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)

Some of the things that I am about to express today may offend you.

Some of the things that I am about to express may not apply to you.

But either way, they are statements, ideas, and conclusions, that have not been discussed enough lately in the discourse that has been permeating our long, national narrative for at least the last twenty-five years, but they are present most recently in our national non-discourse, since the death of a man in St. Louis last year.

Or maybe it was the death of a young boy in Florida.

The deaths are only the latest example of human beings engaged in the ultimate conflict—violence—with each other, as a way to resolve issues.

These deaths are troubling, but not for the obvious reasons that drive social media communications, meme generations, outraged postings, declaratory blog posts, media declarations, and the fake outrage of television pundits, entertainment celebrities, and social justice advocates.

These deaths are troubling because, instead of drawing the American (and global) population closer together, they (and their immediate, reactionary aftermath) seem to only drive people further apart, into separate camps, meme-ing and glowering at each other with outrageous social media declarations about “unfriending” people who disagree.

Their deaths are troubling because the underlying issue beneath of all of these deaths is never truly talked about, examined, or dissected.

Maybe because that issue appears to “obvious,” to “easy” to deal with, or perhaps, the issue appears to be so unsophisticated to our contemporary minds, that it overwhelms us with the depth of its simplicity.

But, much like Occam’s Razor, the simplest answer is often the most accurate one.

But not the easiest one to solve.

[Opinion] The Dark Heart of Man

***

 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” ― Aleksandr SolzhenitsynThe Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

Discussion about the depth, breadth, and nature of the problem of human evil—and changing the hearts and minds of the people who have a propensity to do evil rather than to do good—gets less and less sweeping media coverage of any kind these days.

Collectively, we have decided in the United States (with much of the rest of the world not far behind)—that people (both individually and at scale) will just be perfect (or can at least be coerced into being good) if enough laws are passed, if enough people are socially sanctioned and made uncomfortable about holding and expressing uncomfortable opinions, and if the public responds quickly enough to get outsiders to straighten up.

We believe the Rousseauian myth (though he was not the first to express it) that man is driven to commit evil because of inequalities in society (a society, of course built by imperfect men) that manifest through the disparate gossamer of poverty, racism, sexism, or whatever phobia there is of the moment.

Culturally, we accept that the root of human evil is not based in a soul fallen through the curse of Original Sin (I mean…who wants to talk about sin?), but instead we believe that evil lies somewhere buried in deep in all of the social structures humans have invented, built and maintained over time.

We genuinely believe that if we just change the structures, either gradually or immediately, that justice will be meted out, that death will come only to the guilty, and that peace and freedom without consequence will reign.

And that would be a fine, worthy set of beliefs to pursue, if they weren’t proven catastrophically wrong, time, and time again.

Yesterday was the anniversary of Aaron Burr shooting Alexander Hamilton in a meaningless duel over politics, honor, and expedience.

The Hutus and the Tutsis engaged in genocidal mass slaughter with machetes in Rwanda in the 1990’s.

All over the world today, children wake up and are abused, beaten, and even worse, on their way to adulthoods, where they will continue the patterns of senseless abuse with their children.

A few days ago, a man shot police officers doing their job.

A few days before that, a man was shot in a traffic stop.

A few weeks before that, a man shot 50 people in a nightclub who weren’t bothering anybody.

A few months before that, a child was shot in a neighborhood scuffle.

And for years upon years, the crime rate in major cities in America has been ticking ever so slowly downward, even as the heinousness of the crimes that created public ripples through immediate reporting shock us even more with their depravity.

A few days ago, a college student got drunk and raped another college student.

A few years ago, cocaine, and then crack addiction were tearing up cities with murders, thefts, and all other manner of depravity.

And now heroin is doing the same thing, in “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” rural areas populated by the poor, the abused, and the neglected.

A few decades ago, some cops pulled a man out of a car in LA and beat him, seemingly without provocation—and no one put down the camera to stop them.

A few decades ago, violent riots swept through cities, following an endless spate of assassinations that no government entity could prevent.

In the 1930’s a government put the pressure to its own citizens and ultimately drove many of them into gas chambers, putting the horrifyingly apt title of The Final Solution to a process that had previously had no designation, other than the term pogrom, going back into the Middle Ages.

The examples overwhelm because at the bottom, they are about the depravity and evil of the human heart, which is desperately wicked, desperately ego-driven and selfish, and desperately desirous to do whatever may come to mind unto others without consequence, rather than having anything done unto them.

The typical, rule/sanction based bulwarks of religion, government, and even social sanctioning are gradually losing their ability to sway people away from committing individual acts of evil. Paradoxically, they are gradually swinging toward passively supporting, more and more, collectively larger acts of systemic institutional evil, because, as the Founding Fathers noted in the Declaration of Independence “…all experience has shown, that mankind is more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

And as the rule/sanction moorings fall away, one by one, the only thing that is left between people are relationships; the ties that bind, as it were. And even those are tenuous, at best, without something else buttressing them.

Do black lives matter?

Do white lives matter?

Do cop lives matter?

Do civilian lives matter?

Do children’s lives matter?

Do women’s lives matter?

Do men’s lives matter?

Do rich people’s lives matter?

Do poor people’s lives matter?

Does changing the human heart matter?

Does it start with you?

Peace Begins with You

***

And now we are at the crux of the current manifestation of the age-old matter in our digital age.

No hashtag ever changed a thing.

In person change has always been fraught with difficulty, misunderstandings, miscommunications, negative escalations, and conflicts. When people talk with each other face-to-face there is always the opportunity for confusion and conflict, particularly if the conversation in question is questioning deeply held stories around values, worldviews, and frames.

It takes a lot of emotional quickening to escalate from a conversation to a confrontation to a conflict to a fistfight to a war. There are many discrete steps in face-to-face communication that social norming has established, developed, and refined for thousands of years to limit such escalation. But, as is always the case, human beings’ tools for communication get better, friction and misunderstanding increases, even as the speed of communication increases, and conflicts flare up.

From carrier pigeons to riders on horseback to the telephone to mail by airplane to emails and now Twitter, there have always been people who would rather fight to hold onto the status quo in their hearts, than take a risk and explore a different way. As the speed of our tools has increased how fast we get a message and then react to it, (going from days or weeks to micro-seconds) there hasn’t been a commensurate increase in the heart of rational contemplation.

Thus we get to social media communication.

The collective social media population reacts within seconds to an offense that culminates publicly only after brewing deeply in a human heart for years, and then uses the immediacy of social communication tools to psychologically manipulate people on the other end of the message into reacting rather than thinking.

And there’s really only two reactions available: fight or flight.

Not a measured argument.

Not a reasonable discourse.

Not knowledge or growth.

They are looking for either a respondent’s heels or their fangs.

In the case of the Internet, and the communication tools we have built on top of it, we have exchanged immediacy for escalation, and have confused personal passion driven by our reactions for legitimacy of an assertion.

Ease of access to digital tools also allows our solutions to deeply heart-based problems to be focused on the tawdry and the spectacle—which is short term—instead of the deliberative and the reasonable—which is long-term.

No hashtag ever saved a child.

Our desire to comment, burn, and react on the basis of spectacle, indicates that the type of communication we desire is that which will be friction free, painless, non-relationally based communication, when we want it, how we want it, that allows us to do what we want, when we want, how we want.

But this is an inherently selfish and vain position, a reaction from deep in the human heart to strike immediately at those who hurt us. A reaction that culminates in employing the phraseology of escape (“Please “unfriend” me if you disagree with me”) rather than the language of understanding, compassion, and recognition that we are all fallen.

We are all in need of justice with mercy, compassion with understanding, and reconciliation without strings.

No hashtag ever made a traffic stop less dangerous, or more dangerous.

Online communication will always be fraught with difficulty and no amount of changing a name policy, policing speech we don’t like, or building walls and doors into our platforms (or our physical lives), is going to prevent than difficulty.

The solution to all of this, as with most things, lies in changing the motivations, the drives, and the worrying tendencies deep in the dark heart of man. But we cannot begin this change under our own power.

My long, troubled, questioning journey through physics, philosophy, politics, and even religion, has convinced me that the solution to the all of these motivations, drives, and worrying tendencies, endlessly repeated from one news cycle to another, lies first in individually establishing a heart-felt, meaningful, personal relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer, reading the Bible, and joining with others in community of all races, genders, orientations, and beliefs.

But many people (some of whom are my friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms) are unwilling to believe that the solution to all of this depravity is this simple. Some of you (if you’ve made it this far) will probably be vehemently disagreeing with me. Some of you will be confusing the ineffective, rule/sanction based bulwark of religion, with meaningful relationship with other people in Christ.

I welcome your feedback.

I am friends (and nominal associates) with all manner of races, sexual orientations, political positions, and religious/non-religious people on many social platforms. I do not run from disagreement on this conclusion, and I welcome questioning.

Because I am talking about relationships.

Real ones.

When you have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, not a rule based relationship, you don’t go it a nightclub and shoot people. No matter how egregious their life choices may seem to you in the natural.

When you have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, you pray for those who have wronged you racially, ethnically, and socially, and you let those prayers change your mindsets, behaviors and attitudes before you put on your policing uniform.

When you have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, you let that relationship determine when to disobey (civilly) those in authority, when to obey (in civilly) those in authority, and when to let God sort it out.

When you have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, you are not frightened, worried, or consumed by human injustice perpetrated by human actors; instead you are emboldened to act with courage in the face of all of that, knowing that Jesus walks before you—so who can be against you?

When you have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, you are able to forgive your enemies before they do unto you, without rancor, without judgment, and without fear of what you will lose.

I am convinced, now more than ever, that the greatest impact we will ever have on each other—the greatest ability that we will ever display to others to show them how to “destroy a piece of [their] own hearts” is by walking out the love, compassion, and nonviolent response exemplified in the life, actions, and words of Jesus Christ, to people whose opinions, positions, and even behavior and actions, we find to be scary, repulsive, revolting, and even violating human decency.

Our role is not to deal out death (whether that be rhetorical death via a social media post or literal death via a weapon) in judgement, for who can know all ends of the human heart?

Who can predict how walking out the impact of a relationship that goes above all human knowledge will affect that other person who disagrees—even unto death?

No hashtag ever generated a relationship with Christ in another human being.

***

The solutions are simple, but not easy.

Teach your children to use kind words with each other and role model not looking at the phone.

Go and talk to your neighbor who disagrees with you politically, economically, racially, scientifically, emotionally, and find out why they disagree through actively listening to them, rather than making a judgment.

Take the inner journey toward Jesus Christ, with or without a Bible believing church behind you. This journey—if you take it as seriously as you take protesting, demonstrating, and inspirational posting—will change your heart fundamentally, if you let it. It is no surprise that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a practicing Reverend first, and then a nonviolent demonstrator, and then a public hero.

No matter what your title, your race, your gender, your sexual orientation, your desires, or your needs, begin with changing the world, by changing yourself—your own dark heart—first.

Avoid dealing out metaphorical (or even literal) death in judgment, and instead lead with compassion.

For justice without mercy is merely dressed up revenge.

And mercy without justice is merely watered down passivity.

We are all called to be active, not passive, players in this life, regardless of our title, our position in life, our past history, or our current situation.

I am not preaching human love. I am not advocating for human understanding. I am not writing for more of the same thing that doesn’t work. I am not telling you who to vote for. I am not telling you what church to go to. I am not telling you what pundit’s video to reTweet, or what meme to post.

I am focused, laser-like, on uplifting you toward examining yourself first and then looking at others. I am focused laser-like on destroying pieces of my own heart that are capable of evil. I am focused laser-like on attaining and facilitating the justice that Jesus Christ would have me attain and facilitate, rather than engaging over and over again with my own anger, disappointment, and disgust.

And the diamond through which I am shining that laser-like focus is my real relationship with Jesus Christ.

The solutions cannot be all wrapped up neatly at the end of a 2700-word + essay, because the problems are buried deep in the human heart.

They’ve been going on since man disobeyed God in the garden of Eden, and then, Cain slew Abel and his blood cried out from the ground for justice.

They’ve been going on since Abraham bargained with God for the preservation of Sodom and Gomorrah.

They’ve been going on since the Romans burned Christians as pyres to light Nero’s palace.

They’ve been going on since the Catholic Church killed Jews and other non-believers, in the Inquisition.

They’ve been going on since one part of our country decided that they would rather engage in an apocalyptic Civil War than give up the trade of humans as chattel.

They’ve been going on since Vladimir Lenin decided that in order to make a “perfect world” he would have to break some eggs.

They’ve been going on since Hutus and Tutsis destroyed Lake Victoria with each other’s dead bodies.

They’ve been going on since a cop shot a man in a car for no other reason than he appeared to be threatened.

We cannot begin changing others under our own power until we change ourselves first.

If we could, we would have done it already.

We need more Jesus, not less.

And not the Jesus we make up to make ourselves feel comfortable about our human evils, and to justify our judgements and decisions, but the Jesus who is what He says He is.

Or else…well…just look at the headlines, the videos, the news reports, and the decay of interaction to see what the inevitable outcome will look like.