May 4, 2017

Originally published in the Huffington Post

Debilyn Molineaux. Reprinted from Huffington Post.

Have you felt it? That societal agitation resulting in more stress, conflict and stubbornness?

I have. All inside myself.

I find myself avoiding news, certain people and being more abrupt than normal. I want to actively fight against those who are bullies — but sometimes they are just my friends with a different, very strong opinion. This is the result of my internal agitation. My ability to listen is at an all time low. I pride myself on listening.

Not living up to my own standards adds more stress and agitation, leading to more conflict. AARGH!

I feel like my car just broke down. We were on our journey — paying attention to our lives, cogitating on what we were going to do next when… BAM! We threw a rod right through the case. In case you are not mechanically inclined, this is fatal for the car, pending a new engine. In real life, I get agitated for flat tires and other minor car inconveniences. Agitation is normal when dealing with inconvenience, disappointment and downright change of circumstances.

Our country and our system of self-governance is like that broken down car. It requires our attention and a new plan. The old ways of working don’t work. We don’t all want to share the same journey and aren’t even sure we have a shared destination in mind. So…let’s be agitated together, on purpose.

I don’t know anyone who was happy with the status-quo of the previous journey we were on. We had put duct tape on every part of the car. We’d been squabbling about who should fix what, where to turn and where we were going. Now what? How do we decide on a new plan? Is there room for us all to continue together or do we leave some folks behind? Since our country’s founding, we have left people behind and on the side of the road. Leaving folks behind hasn’t worked out so well.

We need to discover the values we share and develop friendly bonds within our communities. We need to define America again to include us all. But what is our cohesion in the U.S.? I don’t know. Really. Don’t. Know.

Agitation is a sign that change is here and I don’t like it. Who does? Managing my agitation will be take more engagement, not less. More active listening, not less. I’m looking for that bus that everyone can get on and we can share our journey — our adventure, that is self-governance.

We live in interesting times. And I am blessed to know people who were thrilled with the election outcome, some who grudgingly accept it and others who have started or joined the resistance. We run the gamut. Through it all, we will endure. And agitation is our call to pay attention and grow.