No matter how they’re transmitted, mixed messages have consequences. Mixed messages are confusing, and when people are confused and things don’t get better, they tend to become cynical, polarized and angry, or they collapse into a state of silence and helplessness.
Today I’m writing to expose the simple fact that mixed messages give birth to cynicism, then nurture that cynicism to keep it alive. And we, as a society, are awash in mixed messages. Here are just a few examples of the kind of mixed messages we deal with in our personal, professional, social and cultural life.
One of my personal heroes, Bucky Fuller, spoke of humanity eventually arriving at the end of the womb of acceptable ignorance, a time when we would be faced with a stark choice. Continue backing into the future by fighting or fleeing from what we don’t want, or turning to face it squarely, realize we will live in the tomorrow we create today, and get busy creating a tomorrow we want to live in.
When things change for the better, it’s always about ‘enough’ of us, not all of us. Which is why building connections, networks, and alliances of resources and help is how we increase the speed of change.
We don’t have a backup if we make a mistake, if we break it or bomb it or leave it to ruin. One planet, with one island, in one ocean. There’s one race, the human race, and as fellow passengers on this spaceship Earth, we have a shared destiny. What’s that destiny going to be? As far as I’m concerned that’s the one conversation that we need to be having internationally, because without agreement to this, there’s no possibility for a real dialog.
Those who we recognize for their vision are, more often than not, satisfied to see what they see and begin with that, then fill in the blanks while adapting to changes as they unfold. Indeed, an artist faces a canvas, a blank sheet of music, or a problem to be solved, with only an inkling of an idea, and that’s enough to begin.