Gina Murdock: Fate of the world depends on opening our minds, hearts and ears |

Gina Murdock: Fate of the world depends on opening our minds, hearts and ears

Gina Murdock
Lead With Love
Gina Murdock

Could listening be the antidote to the pandemic of polarization, fear, blaming and hatred that feels even more pervasive and potentially deadly than COVID-19? What we saw on display from our “leadership” during the first presidential debate illustrated beautifully (and brutally) what is wrong with our country and our culture, and what we can do about it. One of my mentors Bob Chapman, a part-time Aspen resident and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, says it best, “In the end, it is about truly caring for every precious human being whose life we touch. … It is about living with an abundance mindset: an abundance of patience, love, hope and opportunity. Everyone wants to contribute. Trust them. Leaders are everywhere. Find them. Some people are on a mission. Celebrate them. Others wish things were different. Listen to them. Everybody matters. Show them. We don’t just need a new guide to leading in times of change or adversity. We need a complete rethink, a revolution.”

Can you imagine this guy being your boss? I want in on this revolution of caring. This is the change we need in our country and world. Chapman leads nearly 12,000 employees and he lets each of them know they matter by listening and caring for them. I’ve already asked him, “Can you please run for president?” He gets that a lot, he says, but feels that conscious business can be a more powerful avenue for changing the world than politics. I agree, and I don’t think it’s just business; its an individual responsibility for all of us to figure out what it really means to lead with love, to listen to people especially those who are different, and to take action from a place of love, not fear.

We have a lot of problems we’ve created to overcome: our natural environment has become toxic because of our lack of care and concern for it; our bodies have become toxic with nearly a 40% obesity rate and chronic stress and inflammation killing us and making us sick; our minds have become toxic with 1-in-5 Americans dealing with depression, anxiety and mental illness. Suicide is the second leading cause of death of 15- to 34-year-olds nationwide, and this was before the pandemic. Things were not going well before, and for most people, they have gotten a lot worse.

Dr. Deepak Chopra goes even further in a recent Washington Post article, “Basically, we’re on the road, I think, to self-destruction, with the eco-destruction, extinction of species, climate change, war, nuclear weapons, biological warfare, pandemics, racism, bigotry, hatred, prejudice. … And if you ask me what the meaning of all this is, I think human beings are totally reckless and we are not even slightly self-aware. It’s like a collective suicide mission.”

Let’s exit this suicide mission, shall we? A revolution of caring can change all of this. When we are all stuck in our egos wanting to make the other wrong and prove our righteousness we will never achieve peace. We have to become more skillful, more present, more aware, and more willing in order to shift the paradigm that we’re in.

Here’s what we’re going to do to start: give people attention, affection, appreciation and acceptance. These four A’s come from Deepak and also psychotherapist David Richo. Let’s try that. Make sure to give it to yourself, too!

That’s Love in Action. Another amazing tool is to look up and study “Non-Violent Communication,” it’s a simple process for really hearing people that leads to more compassion. Also, Chapman and Co. has created an incredible listening course called “Our Community Listens.” He’s been subsidizing the in-person course for over a decade in Aspen and now you can find many resources online.

We can do this. Join us for our bi-weekly calls to put these tools into action. We’ll be focusing on civic engagement and democracy throughout the month of October. We can be the change we wish to see. Vote!

Gina Murdock is the founder of the Aspen-based nonprofit Lead with Love. She writes a monthly column for The Aspen Times about causes and actions you can take that are highlighted in their newest offering Love in Action, a Zoom work session every other Wednesday for more information, go to

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