I’m often criticized for being too idealistic in my approach to my work and my life. It’s getting harder and harder to sit in meetings where people are saying things like, “Sure, in a perfect world, we could do things with reason and purpose. But, you don’t understand the day-to-day complexities we face, so your approach may sound good, but it just can’t work here.” Maybe people who say these things to me are right, perhaps I seek world that can’t exist; maybe this world is simply too fucked up to see that responses to life’s challenges that begin with fear and envy only lead to hatred. Perhaps hatred is the basis for action in this world, in this time.

And what is my approach that is so sharply criticized? I strongly believe that people all have strengths and that growth and real prosperity emerges from tapping into those strengths. I believe that, if we can accept any given situation for what it is and find the good in the situation, we can mine that goodness and create far better working and living conditions. Though I realize that not everyone holds the same capacities, I still believe that all people can contribute something positive to our world’s discourse.

The problem with my approach, though, is that people recognize that with participation in the dialogue of growth comes responsibility. I’m convinced that most people are afraid and do not trust themselves enough to look for reasons why a problem can be solved. Instead, I see more and more people arguing why a real and possible solution to any given problem cannot happen. People in this world see so little value in their own reflections that they project that lack of worth onto everything else that they do. That is, they see themselves as weak and limited, but then blame everyone and everything else for their weakness and limitation such that they do not have to take responsibility for their strength and capability. It’s far easier to say that something can’t be done in regards to any given problem than it is to say, how can I help solve this and make things better?

Perhaps my critics are right and maybe my life’s mission to build a world where fear doesn’t dominate its soul and hope rings true with every breath. If there’s a problem any given situation, I am willing to bet all that I am that all’s that’s needed for its solution is already present within its own circumstance. It’s a matter of reflecting upon the strengths within the situation, naming them, and then acting towards removing any limiting factors. I don’t want a perfect world; however, I do think a better, more inclusive world, is very possible. we really can overcome the fucked-up-ness of this world.