I used to write a blog called Be One With the Chaos. We've all experienced it and I was fascinated by how some could hold their center while others fell apart. I know incredibly resilient people who repeatedly inspire with their ability to be creative and solve problems in the face of challenges. I've also witnessed complete melt downs - how and what we try to control matters.
I recently read in Brendon Burchard's book The Charge that "we can control the quality of our character, actions and contributions to the world." Without resolve to maintain our values in thought and actions, we are almost defenseless in the face of chaotic events. Only when we rely on our character and hold our center can we rise above the turmoil of disasters, tragedies and random events.
When we least expect it, we may be blindsided. Will we react or respond? Burchard says, "meet the uncontrollable with a measure of choice and will." Respond from our character. Avoid reacting from pure emotion. Getting emotional usually adds fuel to the fire, while a response that reflects our values and maintains the dignity of all involved has an excellent chance to lower the negative impact or even eliminate the damage that chaos can cause.
A shout out tonight to one of my colleagues who held her center in the face of an emotionally charged and cheap-shot accusation. I won't go into the details but this could have blown up into a nasty, racial issue in our community. What I loved is while my friend acknowledged her fears to speak up in the past, she spoke with dignity and conviction today, standing up for not only herself but countless others. I'm so proud of her.
We cannot predict where chaos will come from or why, we cannot and should not hide ourselves away in an attempt to avoid it - we can live each day to create the good we are capable of and respond to random chaos not from our defensive ego, but from our best self with honesty and dignity.