Culture is not created in a vacuum. It is not something that is isolated and independently manufactured inside an organization, inside a brand, inside a neighborhood, a city, a state, a country or a world. Culture exists like air exists. It’s all around us all the time. And, like air, we can choose what kind we want to live in and what we are willing to do, or not do, to have it. Or we can choose to ignore our roles and responsibilities in shaping it. Either way, it’s a choice we make and our Culture reflects that choice.
“Some things don’t matter much. Like the color of a house. How big is that in the overall scheme of life? But lifting a person’s heart–now, that matters. The whole problem with people is…they know what matters, but they don’t choose it…The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters.” ― Sue Monk Kidd
I get it. I’m as guilty as the next person of thinking “Isn’t fixing this someone else’s job?” “This really needs to be fixed, but I’m so busy.” “The problem feels so big, there’s no way I can do anything that will change it.” And my personal favorite “If those people would just do XYZ, then everything would be just fine.” My list goes on and on. And in the end, it’s just a list of excuses that absolves me of actively choosing what matters and actively doing what matters. Really matters.
I read this post by Anne Lamott over the weekend about choosing and doing what matters as the only way there is to combat the heartbreaking culture we seem to be living in. As always, she nails it. And instead of doing what I usually do, ie. reading it, saying “that’s great” and continuing on with my standard behavior, I’ve decided to actively, consciously choose to put my focus, my words and my actions on what matters, every day. My goal is to do it for the next 30 days and I invite you to join me.
I’ve set up a Facebook page called Choosing What Matters where I will post how I’m choosing what matters, inspiring stories of people, organizations, companies – anyone doing what matters, my challenges with choosing what matters, etc. I’d like the group that joins me to do the same. There may only be a small group of us and that’s fine. Or it may only be me. And that’s fine, too. 🙂 What matters, is choosing what matters.