A friend posted a quote from Instagram, and it hit a chord about our broken world. With over 18,000 likes since October 2017, it reads:

Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.

All things break. And all things can be mended.

Not with time, as they say, but with intention.

So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.

The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.

~ L.R. Knost

My words today were unplanned. I intended to write something different, but we need to explore an inspiration to see where it takes us. A broken world awaits.

Who is L.R. Knost?

L.R. Knost is an author, activist, and founder of a children’s advocacy rights group. Before yesterday, I did not know who she was. When you read her Twitter bio, her hashtags say it all:

#humanrights #socialjustice #feminist #globalresponsibility #cancerwarrior #Jesuslover #momof6

More than a hashtag, as I read several quotes from her books, she has a gift to put words together that hit home in our souls and spark thoughts in our minds.

All Things Break

Three words say it all: all things break. If our work and lives seem to be going along well, we forget about the brokenness happening around us. We become surbanized, locked into our neat home with a few friends. A 2010 survey found that about a third of us know none of our neighbors by name, and a third said they never interacted with their neighbors. Compared to a few decades ago, about a third spent time with their neighbors at least twice a week. We live in a broken world or, at least, fragmented.

In some ways, our workplace is becoming equally sterile. We are cubicalized, packed into a cloth-enclosed box and unaware of what is happening in other’s lives. While the cubicle or office walls may have disappeared, noise-canceling headphones have replaced them. Even in open spaces, we can feel alone.

We need our silence and time for self-reflection, but we also need our time to know our community. All things break and, right now, our communities are cracking. We need to re-connect. Some argue that the reason Trump is in office is because of the brokenness in various communities. We need to take this possibility to heart.

All Things Can Be Mended

We seem to live in a patchwork world in which the threads between the patches are frayed or torn. We need to begin to stitch them together again.

At this moment, we are in a season of renewal. Let’s begin. Intention and then action are vital threads to grab ahold of in our thoughts and movement.

Intention relates to attention; we need to notice. More than notice, we need to reach out and understand. Within our new understandings, we find a new spirited desire to change the present into a better future.

Action is doing. Intention without action is directionless inaction. We cannot afford stalemate and ignorance.

Love-Driven Leadership

Chris Lowney, author of Heroic Leadership, sums it up well:

“Love enables any company to welcome every sort of talent, irrespective of religion, race, social position or credentials. Love is the joy of seeing team members succeed.”

Love-driven leadership is knowing that people are generally good, and we need to provide the enlivened feeling that they can use their talents in ways to empower teams and organizations forward.

Lowney also describes how love-driven leadership is not an excuse to let individuals off-the-hook when they are not doing their part. Quite the opposite. Love-driven leadership requires us to have difficult conversations with the underperformers. When individuals are not using their talents and skills, they are failing themselves and our society.

We need to stir the best out of everyone, finding the right role and environment for them to make their work sing in the intended, beautiful way. Our actions need to engage a love-driven leadership way. After all, it is not soft. Love-driven leadership creates better intentions and subsequent actions of change, compassion, and outcome.

Await No Longer

Inspiration is dangerous. We become comfortable in the words and the thoughts but then return to our daily routines. The best inspiration restores our aspirations and converts to actions with a renewed awareness.

Just as inspiration alone can be dangerous so can callousness. We are living in a time in which some leaders use words to divide, disparage, and discourage. We need to understand motives, but then we need to counter with positive actions that produce a better direction.

An Activist Mindset

Await no longer translates into an activist mindset.

Activism is knowing people are better when they are loved and challenged to use their minds and spirit in positively engaging ways.

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Activist invokes thoughts of a past time of protests and free-living. We need to realize a new reality of activism. Activism is a method to understand the forgotten and then build relationships to craft a better future. Activism is determining what is not working, what control we have, and then developing solutions that matter where we are and where we can. Activism is having the conversation in a civil and inclusive way. Activism is knowing people are better when they are loved and challenged to use their minds and spirit in positively engaging ways.

When we let the words of L.R. Knost settle in, they inspire. More than inspire, they challenge us to convert the inspiration into action. We all need to realize the call-to-action of her words. We can begin by getting to know our neighbors and spending time with them each week. We can begin by knowing the talents and challenges of the people we work with, letting them know they are in a loving culture in which we expect them to use their gifts more often than before.

We need to find our inner activist and bring it to life with productive actions. Our world seems to be tearing at the seams, and we need to do more than sow inspiration. We need to renew by sewing the pieces together while developing better patterns to create better communities and workplaces.

“The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.” Are you ready to act?

 

Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash
The broken world awaits you. What will you do? Start mending by knowing your neighbor's names and using the talents of the people you work with.

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