It’s easy to minimize issues when you are in the middle of them. It just seems too much effort to step forward and try to change things. Even when you feel in your soul you are ready to break out of a pattern and create needed change, the siren song calls you back to your comfort zone.
Looking back on a couple of work and personal life choices from my past, I can still feel the scars left from staying too long in situations that were not right for me. At the time, I knew it. I talked about it. I dreamed about getting out. But dreaming doesn’t get the job done. The only thing that makes change is work – often prolonged, difficult work. And if anything can make the siren song even more appealing, it is prolonged, difficult work.
The siren song does not just pull us from our work on our personal lives, it also keeps us from focusing on issues such as social injustice, systemic bias, environmental degradation, and greed. If history has taught us nothing else, it has shown that these are fights that require long-term perseverance to make even the smallest changes.
Why do we falter in our efforts to make change? Putting yourself out there for a cause and challenging the status quo is a risk. Speaking up for something that is not the typically-accepted belief can put you at social and even financial risk. Those who benefit from these systemic issues rely on risk aversion to keep them in power.
Positive change rarely comes without risk. Each of us taking even a small risk together can chip away at the power of the status quo. What will you risk for your beliefs? Life at the corner of wild and free cannot truly be free until ALL people can live freely. Let’s strap ourselves to the mast of change and keep moving away from the siren song. Away from the status quo toward real freedom and change.