The definition of simulacrum is an imitation or substitute for something real. The substitute may be unsatisfactory but only if the person is able to identify it as a fake. I am drowning in simulacrum on social media, political debate, and yes, even some leadership meetings. For my mental health I have decided that rather than fight them, I will lean in and honor them. So far, so good...
There is no denying as a public figure that 'stats' matter. My team is always barking about 'google analytics', 'engagements', and 'contacts'. The truth is, all I see are 'likes', 'thumbs up', and 'hearts'. Considering how often I post, the thought put into what I share, and the number of people I'm connected to, of course it is humbling when it appears that the impact or reach was not as my ego would assume. I would often catch myself peeking at the posts and engagements of others in my field and the surface appearance that they were simply doing better than me. But alas a reality hit, and my balance and sanity drastically improved. I was comparing myself to a fake enemy with no real sense of self.
I make no apologies for being highly competitive which requires me to pay attention to external competition. I also realize there is no honor in mastering inauthenticity and definitely no obligation of respect due. Sharing an original thought is different than claiming an original thought. Sharing an original idea is different than claiming an original idea. When you feel compelled to compare your authentic self to another persons plagiarized presence, remember that those who know the difference will reward the difference. I have opted to master the ability to identify and embrace authenticity. While it is not easy to ignore all the fakeness in our midst, it is also not something we should deem worthy of our limited time, energy, and resources.
Honor and Respect Fake People. Wait, what?!!!
Change From Within
I have been honored to be retained by Law Enforcement Agencies across the country for leadership, diversity, and community relations training. I recognize my training has fallen short on empathy due to my limited understanding of the experiences of those with whom I have been asked to partner. What we want for community relations requires we become better witnesses for one another. Step 1: Evolve my thinking by fully embracing the experience.
Change From Within
The Citizen's Academy is a 13 week/47hr experiential learning journey that includes hours of information, observation, and hands-on experience. I am learning first hand the level of training, the plethora of decisions to consider in a matter of seconds, and the enormous amount of scrutiny that comes with each decision. After only a few weeks into the course, my ability to empathize and implement real change is already being realized.
Week 2: Probable Cause, reasonable suspicion, due regard, discretion, vehicle contact, pursuit, hands-on driving maneuvers, and deep discussion about bias (of which my level of challenge and inquiry I am proud to report was welcomed and respected).
During these most recent difficult times for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our places of business, it has been an absolute honor to be the partner of choice for organizations across the country (WI, MI, FL, IN, OR, NY, AZ, CA, and others) that wish to utilize critical thinking for not only understanding what is happening but also to capitalize on the opportunity to make us better witnesses and authentic partners with one another.