The Power of Ten
Last year George Floyd’s life ended and three weeks ago the trial of Derek Chauvin ended, but there’s still no ending to the story because it’s part of a series. It’s sad, but true, even during the Chauvin trial police involved shootings of unarmed black men were still occurring. There are several sides and vantage points to each story, but yet and still it’s the same story. I won’t argue the guilt or innocence of anyone, however, I will encourage self-reflection.
There’s always a motive. If you’ve ever watched a detective show on television you know that the detectives as well as the prosecutors are always looking for a motive. We don’t do any action in life without a motive. We don’t show up for work without a motive – the paycheck. And if by happenstance there is no motive, then I would conclude the action is not an action, but a command. Let me explain. When we are no longer operating out of our own will and thoughts we are not in control.
There are powerful influencers in the world today, some might even call them distractions. Behold, the power of the media. Day in and day out we are bombarded with messages, from the latest trends and gadgets to political issues to hamburgers. The topics and time given to them seem never-ending. Think about this, and this, and this, it’s overwhelming. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, just breathe. Not only were Eric Garner, George Floyd, and the many others in between gasping for air, we find ourselves gasping for air as well. The atmosphere has become so polluted with negativity it’s asphyxiating. We all know what happens when we are deprived of oxygen after a period of time, we face unconsciousness or death. Where are we?
I know law enforcement has to make split second decisions and the outcomes are sometimes tragic and irrevocable, but then there are times when the camera keeps rolling and the seconds turn into minutes and then you think about how many split seconds were in the 569 seconds that George Floyd was deprived of air. I’d like to rewind that event if I could, even if only ten seconds, maybe in that 10 seconds the knee would have lifted and George could have taken another breath.
Have you ever been watching a movie and come to the end and wished it had a different ending? We’ve seen far too many events unfold in the media with very real and tragic endings, if only they were just a movie. There’s no rewinding life, if we could only hit the rewind button and take back 10 seconds what tragic endings could we avoid? Ten seconds can change your life forever.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the idiom “Count to ten,” and its merit. When we count to ten, we allow ourselves to be aware of our surroundings and moments where we may exclude others or assume our way is best. We can recalibrate and reposition ourselves to make better decisions for positive outcomes. We can think before we speak or misspeak because there is no rewind button. We can even allow ourselves to change the channel.
Don’t be influenced by the influencers, remember, we have the power. Take a breather, then think about your motives and respond accordingly.