resistance versus the hard stop

Each morning, in the cool Ohio air, I take my dogs out to do their business.  The oldest dog is not on a leash. He wanders around the yard on his own…free from restraint.  The younger dog (Finn) cannot be trusted with that amount of freedom. I am forced to bundle up and walk him on a retractable leash.

As Finn wanders around in the cold, the leash extends and retracts with his movements.  When he gets close to the end of the leash, the amount of resistance increases.  This resistance increases until he “gets to the end of his rope.”  Then there is a hard stop.  There is a different feel to the hard stop…for both him and me.  It’s the signal to him that he has roamed far enough.  There is no more give.  If he keeps pushing against the end of the leash, he will not move.  He will only hurt himself.

There might be a metaphor here worth considering.

When you are seeking to create the change you wish to see, you may need to push boundaries.  There will be some resistance.  But when you are measured and thoughtful and persistent, you can create change and, potentially create new boundaries.  On the other hand, when you recklessly run toward the end of the leash, without regard for you or anyone else, you might hurt yourself or the change you want to create in the process.

I woke up today feeling like I watched a strange movie yesterday.  And yet, we are still watching it play out.  I don’t have any magic pills.  But here are some things I am going to focus on as we start a new day.

Be Kind:  To everyone…even the people we disagree with.

Spread Joy:  Push some good into the world.  It will likely not break through all of the noise.  But that joy might lift one person up.  If so, it’s worth doing.

Control the Things You Can Control:  This is a time when it is natural to worry about things outside of our control.  It won’t help your state of mind…or the challenges that need to be solved.

Stop Fanning the Flames:  So much of what I am seeing is just another version of “yeah but, look at the other side.”  If you want to have a better organization, community or country, we all need to be better citizens of it.  Let’s start that today.

I hope you will forgive the ramblings of a dark, early morning.  Like most of us, I am still trying to process what I have seen over the last 24 hours.  What I do feel certain of is this…while peaceful resistance is powerful and important, some people have reached the end of the leash.

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Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing, a full service marketing agency located in Ohio.  Learn more about Hasseman Marketing here.  And if you are interested in have him speak at your next event, you can learn more here.

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