Murdock: What is mine to do?
Lead with Love
I was with a group of friends recently, discussing the state of the world, the beauty, and wonder of it as well as so many injustices that we all felt disturbed by. It led me to ask a question of the seven of us gathered together: What is ours to do?
In the current era, when we all carry computers in our pockets, without necessarily trying, we know about: brutal wars, deadly earthquakes, and floods; people starving and freezing to death; women being killed for wearing their hair down; animals hunted to extinction; mass shootings — again and again.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed and hopeless. So, I asked this group of bright, educated people: What is ours to do? Actually, to each of them: What is yours to do?
As the founder of a non-profit organization dedicated to shifting culture from fear to love, I ask this of myself often. What is ours to do as an organization?
We must focus. I know if I try to do it all — to save all the children and the animals and the plants and the planet — I will wear myself out and be overwhelmed and depleted and probably not do much at all. I believe there is a calling inside each of us that helps bring focus and discernment. What is mine to do in my lifetime to make the world a better place? It can be a very, very small thing, but I believe we all have a thing, and, hopefully, that thing helps to elevate others.
We are not just here to consume resources, procreate, and die. We are here to realize our dharma or purpose in this life. I believe that purpose is about becoming more aware, listening more, and following the signs and omens of the Universe that help us along our path. With a higher state of awareness, we move out of fight or flight, out of “us versus them,” and out of kill or be killed — to more thoughtful and creative responses to stress.
This is not a conversation for the millions and millions of people who are literally in survival mode, who don’t have enough food to eat, clean water, or shelter. Although, with examples like Viktor Frankl and Nelson Mandela, we know it is possible — even in the most dire circumstances — to think of others, to forgive, to love.
This question, this inquiry, is not just for those of us with the luxury of our basic needs being met, but, certainly, it is easier to self-reflect and contemplate one’s life and purpose with ample food on the table and maybe even a bit of wine.
I found it interesting and inspiring that, while all of us at the table had our specific areas of focus, the thing that we were most passionate about doing to help humanity — the common thread of “What is mine to do?” or “Why am I here?” — was about connection.
Each of us felt compelled to connect more to ourselves and others and live into the knowing that we are one: We all come from somewhere and something miraculous and will return to that place when we die. We may have different names and stories about this miraculous, but we know it exists, and, if we lead from that knowing, we lead with love, caring, kindness, empathy, forgiveness, and understanding. Let us not forget what we know.
The holidays are a time when many people feel lonely and sad. When we know that we are one, when we sense or feel loneliness or sadness in another or within ourselves, may we be with that. May we hold each other. May we relax and have patience with each other. May we see each other as part of this miraculous thing. May we remember.
Gina Murdock is the founder of Lead with Love, an Aspen-based nonprofit dedicated to shifting culture from fear to love. Lead with Love is hosting The Awakened Society Initiative with Dr. Lisa Miller + Columbia University. Join a stimulating Zoom conversation Dec. 6, 5:30-7pm. Contact email@example.com for more info. For more information about Lead with Love, go to http://www.ileadwithlove.org.