OR is wearing me out.
Online OR in-person? Democrat OR Republican? Woman OR man? Happiness OR unhappiness?
Perhaps more than ever, I'm noticing that every aspect of our complicated, nuanced lives gets reduced to a narrow dichotomy. Are you this or that? For or against? Right or wrong?
This is partly because it’s just so darn hard to resist a ‘this or that’ state of mind. Our brains want to quickly categorize and rate everything so that we can make sense of the world and #next. On the surface, OR makes everything so simplified, concentrated, easy, fun!
And while it’s true that life is about choices, it is not true that there are only two options or that we can only choose one. The greatest breakthroughs, the most enlightening solutions, the sweetest spots are always found somewhere outside the OR; in the land of AND.
So, this week, I’m over here trying to live the AND life.
For instance, it may be true that nonprofits have experienced a decline in donations this year. But it may also be true that this moment in time is a turning point that will drive better, more efficient fundraising in the future. AND makes space for the good stuff. Life as we know it has changed and we have the opportunity to start again, better.
Sometimes the hardest part about making big changes is stopping the momentum of “how we’ve always done things” long enough to change course. For many nonprofits and businesses alike, the momentum has, indeed, stopped and now is the time to imagine a better way forward.
We don’t have to decide if these circumstances are good or bad, we can just let them be good AND bad.
Can we resist the urge to be “one way or the other”? I'm thinking that real progress means “this way and another”.
Speaking of good and bad (good that I'm practicing, bad that you get to see it), my latest weekly video update is available on YouTube: