America is backed by ideals - liberty for all, democracy, equality, diversity, and unity.
In fact, much of the global population supports the ideal for world peace and a fully sustainable planet for lifetimes to come.
Even modern corporations are fueled by visions of an ideal world where their product or service changes lives for the better.
However, at the end of the day, when we take a cold hard look at reality, things just aren't ideal. In fact, things feel pretty far from it. And we seem to have a really hard time with this.
The truth is, things are the way they are.
Reality is the way it is, and it simply cannot be otherwise. Why then, do we have such a hard time with reality? Why in our right minds do we resist what already is? What sense does this make?
The answer, of course, is none. It makes no sense.
But, this is what our minds tell us to do, and we follow along, nodding our heads and kicking and screaming in protest of reality. In fact, the greatest protest there is, is our individual protest of reality, which pretty much happens 24/7 for our entire lives.
Our minds don't like it when things aren't ideal, according to our preferences.
Look at the inner workings of most corporations. Bureaucracy, red tape, discrimination, and disorganization can all make for a very challenging work environment. Things are far from ideal. In fact, things can seem completely backward, and this makes it very hard for us to show up to work, let alone be fulfilled and productive while there.
Yet, this is how so many companies are run. Because the people at the helm of the ship suffer from imbalances of fear, desire, greed, and basic human emotions, the companies they run also suffer from these negative energies. Many companies will never prosper, simply because their leaders do not possess the equanimity to weather the longterm storms of business.
Okay, things aren't ideal. So what? We already know this, and that's why there are so many problems, right?
If we're only concerned with how things should be, then we're neglecting the only thing that is - which is the reality of the current moment. Instead of waiting for an ideal state of affairs in order to be okay, why can't we learn to be okay with what is?
There's nothing wrong with striving for ideal states, but if we can't accept where we are now, then progress is virtually impossible.
Imagine you want to climb a mountain, but you're stuck at the bottom in a pool of quicksand. You see the mountaintop and have every desire to reach the summit, but you're mired in the ground.
But you're not just stuck in the quicksand. You're also stuck in your own head. You refuse to believe the fact that you're currently in a sticky situation (pun-intended). You kick and scream and say "this can't be happening, I need to climb that mountain!" yet your tantrum is the very thing preventing you from getting out of the quicksand and up the mountain.
We all do this because we're not okay with how things are, and then we complain that we're not living the ideal state. Not being okay with how things are prevents us from getting to how things could be.
If all you can do is focus on the mountain and deny the reality of the situation, then you'll never reach the summit.
Just because things aren't ideal in our minds doesn't mean they aren't perfect.
Every single thing that happens is the perfect result of everything that ever happened before. How is that not perfect?
All of the fundamental forces of the nature - gravity, electromagnetism, the weak force, and the strong force - have all been going on since the beginning of time, leading to what you're seeing right now. Is that not perfect? It may not be ideal in your mind's eye, but it certainly is perfect.
So start there.
Start by acknowledging that it took 13.8 billion years for you to witness the moment unfolding in front of you. Honor that. Respect it. Then do what you can to serve the moment. Don't just complain that the world isn't ideal like you think it should be. It is the way it is, right now, and we must learn to harmonize with that.
We can dream, plan, and inspire as long as we want, but if we can't start by accepting that things are the way they are, we have no business fighting for ideals.
Live with substance!