126 – Divided We Fall

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DIVIDED WE FALL…

This episode is being released on November 11th, just three days after the national elections in America.  Today I am not talking about the election specifically, but rather about the personal, national, and global ramifications of it, as people.  Divided we fall.

This is the most difficult episode I have produced up to this time.  The more I try to figure out what I need to say the more convoluted it gets, there are just so many factions…so many different opinions and positions and perspectives, it’s really tough.

As a man, I found myself wondering what is the best thing for me to do now.  Some people around me, people who are very close to me are hurting and terrified because they are in a group that feels it has been marginalized and attacked by the winning side…and for them, it creates an unknown future in which it seems nothing good could possibly come from it.  Divided we fall.

As a man this concerns me, because I don’t want the people I care about to be afraid or hurt or angry…I just want them to be happy.

The other difficulty I face is that only half of the listeners of this show are from America, the other half are spread out all over the world…so I can’t just talk to Americans here, I am literally addressing the entire globe…so, what do I say? 

What can I say that will be of use to every man in this time of global polarization and division, regardless of what side you are on, regardless of what group you are in? 

I think…The first thing I need to do is remind everyone of what they are. 

What I mean is, aside from being a Democrat or republican, a conservative or liberal…aside from being an American or a Canadian or a Norwegian or a Jordanian…you are a man, first and foremost.

As a man you have a fundamental responsibility to preserve the integrity of your family and other relationships.  These are the most precious, valuable things you possess, and it is imperative that you do not let the divisive nature of these election results wreak havoc upon them.

I said family and “other” relationships…by other relationships I mean all of your relationships, the ones outside your family as well as your immediate family.  The people with whom you relate with from day to day;  your friends, your co-workers and business associates, your neighbors, the person you always talk to at the dog park or the gym.  These are all, your relationships.

Preserving the integrity of these relationships will mean different things to different people.  For me it means I have to listen to people I care about.  I have to honor their point of view even if I don’t agree with it.  I have to be compassionate about the emotions other people are feeling…even if I don’t share those emotions. It also means that I need to project a calm, confident, rational demeanor that is absent of fear, in order to create a safe, solid place for those that are angry, or afraid, and I need to be an example for others to do the same.   In other words, I need to put politics aside and assume the higher ground in these situations. I think that’s what I need to do to preserve my relationships.

Above all I need to remain focused on and celebrate the things that make people the same, rather than the things that make us different. Divided we fall.

In these times of world-wide turmoil and uncertainty every single man including myself has to scrutinize our own behavior.  We have to monitor the things we say and regulate how they are said.  We have to be responsible and aware of our actions, perhaps now more than ever before, because our relationships hang in the balance.

Some people will never get it.  They will remain more attached to their candidate or to an ideology, or to their version of what is right and wrong at the expense of everything else, at the expense of their relationships.  Imagine for a moment what would happen if everyone did that.

Chaos would result.  People would become fractured, and civilization itself would be compromised because the thing that binds us together as a species…the thing that makes civilization possible, and effective, is the strength of our relationships.

Take any country for an example, it’s made up of people, individuals.  Those individuals all have relationships with other people, some of those overlap with other people’s relationships, and through this network of relationships, communities are formed. 

Communities overlap into other communities and become bigger communities, which ultimately coalesce to form a nation.  A nation upon which the primary foundation is not government, or law…but relationships.  Government and law are the circumstances under which a nation exists, but at the very core…the beating heart of a nation depends on the strength of personal relationships.

I believe history proves that when the strength of personal relationships erode…nations erode with them.  It was Aesop who first coined the phrase “United we stand, divided we fall”, and since then many smart people from many different cultures have repeated it.  You know why?  Because it’s true.

We cannot be united as a world or a nation or a community if we are not first united as individuals.  That is why our relationships must be a priority.  Remember, the things we focus on expand, remember…divided we fall..

That’s it for today guys.  I’m going to go and tend to my relationships now…and I suggest you do the same.  I believe that is the best thing each of us can do right now regardless of where you live or who you voted for, regardless of everything else going on in the world…make your relationships a priority and you will be a better man today, than you were yesterday.

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