America, I have deep compassion for your pain, and I simultaneously need to tell you, for your own good, at some point you need to move through your grief and get back to work.

I find the best thing to do when I’m hurt is to focus outside myself and go help someone else. I know it hurts, and I’m sorry for your pain. But your pain isn’t worse than anyone else’s. If you’re one of the red state non-college-educated white men who feels disenfranchised, your pain is real, but please have some compassion for the racial minorities who live with the social and structural legacies of bigotry and slavery. If you’re a racial minority or ally who is scared, angry, and disillusioned, your pain is real, but please have some compassion for the men and women in Appalachia and the Rust Belt who have lost their dignity, sense of identity, and are turning to heroin in record numbers to escape their hopelessness.

One of the advantages of working in the people development space is that I see people change all the time. I know that deep, fundamental, character-shifting transformation is possible. Governing is different than winning an election; Donald Trump now has a heavy burden on his shoulders, and that pressure may create internal tectonic shifts. Pray (or at least hope) that Donald will heal and grow in the ways that are in the best interests of those he now serves.   If you believe in lifelong character development, then expect better things from President Trump. People often live up to, or down to, our expectations.

For those of us who believe in a higher power, I find a little perspective can be helpful. God pre-existed America, and God pre-existed Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. He can redeem even the most hopeless situations and people. For followers of Jesus, let’s remember that our primary allegiance is not to this temporary nation-state, but to the One who loves recklessly, fearlessly, and eternally.

Stephen Covey said that when we focus on things outside our spheres of influence, those spheres shrink. I’ve seen a lot of diminished spheres over the past couple of days. I’ve also been encouraged by witnessing some individuals moving from victimhood to empowerment, increasing their influence in the process. Stand up and lead in your neighborhood.

Find your calling– the place where the world’s deep hunger meets your deep gladness (Frederick Buechner). There was animosity, apathy, contempt, damage, waste, need, and disconnection before November 8, and it’s all still there. There’s only one you in the universe, with your gifts, your passions, and your experiences. Find the place in the world where you feel called to punch holes in the darkness, and get to work.

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  1. Great article, Chip. Great perspective. Thank you for sharing it. Chuck A.

    • Chip Neidigh (Author)

      Thanks for the encouragement, Chuck. 16 years goes by in blink of an eye, eh? Thanks for your service in the Army, and at C-B. I appreciate your role in helping me mature as I transitioned out of the USMC.

  2. Chip – I thank you for your leadership. This article makes me so proud to be a part of the Kairos organization. The courageous truth telling we share with our clients every day is demonstrated in this post. Let’s keep punching those holes in the darkness!

  3. Your 2nd paragraph certainly is confining and assumptive. About lost me. Glad I persevered and read on to find redeeming qualities in the article.

    • Chip Neidigh (Author)

      Hi Laura. Thanks for your feedback. I’d love to hear more about what you’re finding confining and assumptive. Feel free to holler if you want to talk through it live.

  4. Great read Chip! Thanks! Sheriee Ladd

  5. Yep! Sold. I like it. :)

  6. Good stuff, well said

  7. Good thoughts. I appreciate your Insight and wisdom.

  8. Great message, and quite timely. I expect nothing less from you. I always appreciate your perspective.

    • Chip Neidigh (Author)

      I figured this one wouldn’t make much sense if I waited too much longer to post it. :) Thanks for your encouragement, Rebecca.

  9. Thanks for speaking out Chip. As usual you see the bigger picture. I find myself using the old phrase, “never waste a crisis”. In addition to praying for a more value driven Trump, we can take the “crisis” energy and collectively start re-inventing our political platforms for 4 years hence.

    • Chip Neidigh (Author)

      I’m glad there are fighters like you working to reform the system, John. The platforms clearly need re-invention.

  10. Thank you for that re-alignment with what really matters and who is really in charge.
    Loved the article.

  11. I’m feeling much more hopeful about the possibility for transformation within our nation after considering this article Chip! And moving forward with a renewed sense of compassion and trust that God will continue to provide the ultimate source for real power and restoration is always a great place to start! Be blessed today friend,

  12. Well articulated! Thanks for your wisdom, perspective and challenge to both find perspective and to take action.

  13. Busted. Thx you rock.

  14. I love this perspective, Chip. Thank you for the thoughtful post, 360-perspective and inspiration!

  15. Hi Chip – First off, its great to see you online. Been a long timesince the Auburn MBA days, where I thoroughly enjoyed our quirky conversations.

    Second, Congrats on a well written and thought provoking piece. It’s meaningful and relevant.

    Last but not least, the beard suits you my friend!

    Parijat

    • Chip Neidigh (Author)

      Parijat! Wow, that has been a long time. Thanks for reading my musings– how cool that it became an excuse for re-connecting. Yes, the beard keeps me from looking too young. No one wants to hire a 12-year-old consultant for some reason.

  16. Well, well stated, Chip. I am with you in your encouragement to move forward life and do so in a positive and empowered way. May we not be political “idolators” who think that our fates will rise or fall on who is in leadership in Washington; rather, let’s focus on the things that we can personally impact to be a positive light in our society- especially reaching out to and being proximate with those who may have different options and motivations than our own. Model ourselves what we have not seen in our political process, and make positive change happen at the grass roots level. I appreciate your blog posts; they are amongst the very few that I put a priority on reading when they hit my inbox.

    • Chip Neidigh (Author)

      John, always a pleasure to hear from you. Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement. A friend recently paraphrased Wendell Berry: “Not all big problems have big solutions.” It resonated with me, especially on this topic.

  17. Sort of made some awkward assumptions of the problem in paragraph two that boxed some people together, but I get your solution nonetheless. (I’d just edit that out.) Nice point overall, though. Thanks for putting good content out there.

    • Chip Neidigh (Author)

      Thanks for your feedback, David. I realize not all folks fit into either of those two categories, and that not all folks in those categories lack compassion for the other folk. In retrospect, I sacrificed nuance and complexity to get to clarity. Perhaps that was unproductive. Maybe that section should read:

      I find the best thing to do when I’m hurt is to focus outside myself and go help someone else. I know it hurts, and I’m sorry for your pain. If you’re one of the red state non-college-educated white men who feels disenfranchised, your pain is real. If you’re a racial minority or ally who is scared, angry, and disillusioned, your pain is real. Our inward focus when in pain is understandable, but it can paralyze us if we stay stuck there. At some point we need to pivot outward, to have as much compassion for others as we have for ourselves– to have compassion both for the racial minorities who live with the social and structural legacies of bigotry and slavery, and also for the men and women in Appalachia and the Rust Belt who have lost their dignity, sense of identity, and are turning to heroin in record numbers to escape their hopelessness.

  18. Thanks Chip. This puts together a lot of the thoughts, concerns, disbeliefs, etc… that I’ve had over the past days. Take care