I spent my last semester of college at the University of Wales and lived in a loft with British students who, incidentally, offered me a cup of tea at every turn. At first, I refused. But over time, they won me over. In fact, to this day, I take a cup of green tea with mint every morning. Why?
I drink tea because it focuses my mind, wakes me up, and starts my day calmly.
But what does this have to do with our country? At this point in history, it has everything to do with our nation. Emotionally charged minds can’t think straight, clearly, or rationally. And consequently, make poor decisions. At the singular level, this is a personal issue. At the national level, it’s an epidemic. If we want to not only maintain but grow our nation’s human power, economic stability, and defense strength, we must bring our people together. Whether we “drink tea” – in reality or metaphorically – I frankly don’t care.
We must find a way for our people to calmly discuss issues and more importantly, create solutions.
There’s a reason why we tell people to ‘sleep on it’, ‘take a deep breath’, ‘walk away until you calm down.’ All these phrases do the same thing, they help the stress chemicals reduce and consequently, we calm down, think more clearly, and make better decisions. Now how do we do this at scale?
Couple of considerations:
- Start our days with tea, or breathing, or praying, or meditating, or watching the rain. Do whatever centers your mind for five minutes daily and that one commitment alone would change our society. I know it seems like hooey – but science doesn’t lie. When people start their day thinking clearly, they do everything better.
- Follow the basic rules we learned in Kindergarten: Use your inside voice (avoid yelling), If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all (quiet!), walk away (end arguments, don’t start them).
- Compliment others – No kidding, when you are focused on finding a positive in others, you find them in yourself and let go of the negatives, or at least reduce them.
This isn’t about being nicer to one another – though it would be a more pleasant society if we did get along better. But in reality, I’m talking at the national strategic level – this is about helping our nation with productivity, education, health, and creating improved security for our nation through increased revenue and displaying a united front to the world.