I know more than a few family gatherings this holiday season will be tense and uncomfortable, perhaps even confrontational. If a single word could sum up the climate of our country at this time, I believe that word would be “reactionary”. There is a deep political division, a chasm, that few, if any, can bridge just yet. But the division goes beyond politics, there is a basic disconnect between those who hold power and those who feel disenfranchised or forgotten. This problem transcends political parties and permeates both our major cities and our rural areas.
However, reactionary responses to these challenges are the least helpful. At best, they have little impact. At worst, they are destructive to their cause. It’s at times like these that we most need to keep (or regain) clear and cool heads.
In the practice of strategic foresight, you must always strive to be proactive, rather than reactive. This requires keeping a clear picture of the future you would like to see in mind, and acting in a conscious and intentional way to create that future. Rarely, does this require stoking the fires of political division. This holiday, my goal is to speak openly, honestly, but most of all, humbly. We each have a great deal to learn and a difficult road ahead of us. We would all be doing ourselves a favor if we undertook this journey together.