Our Evolution will Not be TelevisedMar 21, 2013
Inspiration comes in the most unexpected ways. Yesterday I was radio frequency surfing randomly punching preset stations looking for engagement. The last 20 seconds of Gil Scott Heron’s1971 song The Revolution Will Not Be Televised sparked my imagination.
Television, it seems, increasingly shapes who we are, how we behave, what we believe, and what we fear. What does this have to do with evolution? Listening to Gil’s powerful decree that the revolution for equality wasn’t going to be fueled by TV’s random events, it struck me that our evolution will never be televised on 24-hour news cycles or reality shows. Our personal evolution to exemplify joy, wholeness, Love, Light, generosity, or the affirmative belief in the inherent goodness of others won’t emerge from a 72” TV screen, but through action.
I find that my personal evolution grows with small acts of courage and fearlessness. In the last three years, I walked to work in the dark. No street lights. I fully knew that the urban community where I worked made the morning/night news for everything fear-stirring: Gun violence, theft, hold-ups, drug use/sales, domestic violence, teen-on-teen violence, sexual assault...an endless scary list. Shadowy figures would walk toward me: A group of men, a mother and her small children, a young male teenager, a sex worker, and other souls.
Every morning, on that dark sidewalk, I spoke. “Good Morning! "Everyone got eye contact and a smile. Every single person was startled. Imagine that. A smile, eye contact, and merry greeting would startle someone. Over time, I would greet the same people hurrying along the dark sidewalk. I believe our collective spiritual evolution happened when I was greeted back with a smile.
One morning, as I repeated my morning greeting ritual, a disheveled man stopped me. Now, let me be clear. He was terribly unkempt. His eyes were bloodshot. He appeared high. Did I really want to stop? Absolutely not. But I did. I breathed through my discomfort, fear, and listened.
"Sister,” he started off, “Thank you for speaking to me every day. I really appreciate your smile and kind words. "I about choked! I didn’t recognize him. We chatted for a few minutes and he went his way.
As I walked away, I smiled. I smile now. We cannot deny that our simple, conscious acts of lifting other’s Spirits pull us closer. Inspire someone’s day with joy. Our spiritual evolution will not be televised, but it is happening.
Jenny DuFresne is the CEO, Leaders Transform. Our mission is to develop leaders who grow, inspire, and evolve people, culture, and impact. Our team supports executive and mid-level leaders with executive coaching, leader, team, and culture development in mid-market companies. Learn more at www.LeadersTransform.com
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