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Common enemies…

Posted Dec 7 2016 by in True North with 0 Comments

“OK Pokorn”, you might be thinking… “how will you correlate that title with peace and positivity?”  Well, there is actually great power found in emotional negativity that can be harnessed for the greater good.  And it is this appeal to the greater good that we should remember today and every day.  Today is Pearl Harbor Day.

On this date, December 7, 1941, an event occurred that summoned a powerful, driving force for the greater good– Pearl Harbor.  From a factual standpoint according to Wikipedia:

In total, 2,403 Americans died and 1,178 were wounded.

Nothing remarkable in the annuls of bloody combat, true?  But the highly-charged political discourse that followed epitomized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Infamy Speech” (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infamy_Speech ) united our country against a common enemy.

Moving on to the Oxford Dictionary:  “Post-truth” is Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year for 2016:

Post-truth adjective

Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.

The recognition goes on:

‘It’s not surprising that our choice reflects a year dominated by highly-charged political and social discourse’, says Casper Grathwohl, President of Oxford Dictionaries. ‘Fueled by the rise of social media as a news source and a growing distrust of facts offered up by the establishment, post-truth as a concept has been finding its linguistic footing for some time.’

“…Fueled by social media and a growing distrust of facts…”  Negative emotions can be a powerful, driving force.  But a force for good?  We can only hope; right President-Elect Trump?

We witnessed this kind of power in the sporting world, too.  The 2016 Chicago Cubs finally beat their common enemies – the 108 year World Series drought; the “Curse of the Billy Goat”; Steve Bartman (not to mention the Cleveland Indians).

In the business world we have seen evidence of power when uniting against common enemies.  Steve Jobs seemingly crusaded to be taken seriously – until Apple finally dominated personal, technology devices.  The common enemy of marketplace disrespect drove Apple to great heights:

Imagination is stronger than knowledge.

Dreams are more powerful than facts.

Hope always triumphs over experience. 

Robert Fulghum

We’ve witnessed Oracle Corporation’s leader, Larry Ellison and his passion to conquer everything and everyone – business; technology; sailboat racing – everything!

Jonathan Whistman, author of The Sales Boss ©, speaks specifically to the ways sales leaders can harness the power of the common enemy, creating a common language in pursuit of a common cause (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3C5NBCIa1nM ).

The Salvation Army started in 1865 in London and The American Red Cross inspired from the carnage of our Civil War, formerly launched in 1881 in Washington D.C.  These powerful organizations are also untied against common enemies – the needy; the sinful; the destitute; the addicted; the hungry; the homeless.  There are many common enemies that give rise to great power for the common good:

In every community, there is work to be done.

In every nation, there are wounds to heal.

In every heart, there is the power to do it.

Marianne Williamson

So yes – common enemies, and the personal, emotional reactions they stimulate, can and do harness the necessary power for the greater good.

Here’s to Pearly Harbor Day and all the power it generated to propel our country forward in the face of common enemies.  How will we propel America and our fellow Americans, forward this December season in the face of our many common enemies?  In our hearts, we have the power to do it!

GAP

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