AND Redefine the Rules of the Game

June 5th, 2016

I found myself comparing the competition among talented singers on the television show, The Voice, with the competition among political candidates for our presidential election, as covered by various media. One inspires me by the raw talent and possible heights of achievement for those with great passion for their dreams and their craft. The other…not so much.

Why is it that we cheer for individuals who will put themselves out there on The Voice? Could it have anything to do with how the game is played? All participants work around the clock to learn new songs, stretch themselves, and attempt to integrate the mentorship and guidance of self-selected mentors in their field. Each one is being encouraged to continuously challenge themselves to do better, even as they support their competitors to do the same. All learn to play to the audience by connecting with their hearts and lightening up some, without compromising excellence. All are encouraged to follow their dreams, while being judged on whether they can execute against what they promise.

When we tap into the dream of another, we are more inclined to cheer them on and help in any way we can. Competition is not about taking anyone else down. It is about getting better at our own craft for having performed with and been surrounded by others who are doing the same thing. AND although there is only one person who gets to be named The Voice each season, all benefit in one way or another. AND all are congratulated and cheered for their efforts and results.

How great would it be if our political games for election ran by the same rules? Give each a chance to perform. Have them select experts from whom they would like to receive insights and tips in particular areas of expertise. Ask them to perform on different topics, where we, and the mentors, look only for what they are doing well and what strengths they could use to perfect their performance. No one gets any points for making another look bad, because, after all would what would be the point? It’s about the ability to demonstrate raw talent, courage to learn a new way, openness to listening to guidance about how to perfect shortcomings, and genuine passion for performing well and achieving results.

The game that is well played raises the performance of all participants. The Voice is a great example of a game that allows no violence, deals with no denigration of the competition, raises the performance of all candidates, and creates a following of people who support the winner and competitors for long after the competition. I wish the same could be said of our political games. Unfortunately, they are stuck in a warring model, without humanity or compassion, feeding overblown egos, and fostering a divided country.

It’s time for us to redefine the rules of the game, if we want a wiser, more collaborative, and more compassionate society.

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