Emotions are contagious. One person’s anger can provoke a crowd to violence in the same way one person’s calmness can help turn the tide on anger. Most of us look to others for some type of connection when stress is high. In some cases, a leader may be silently chosen. In families a sibling may not be aware that others look to them to provide a calming presence. That calming person may not even be aware that they have the job to be cool and collected. But beyond chosen or given roles we all are responsible for promoting climate change.
To be clear, I am not an environmental scientist and this is not about the important topic of saving the Earth. The climate change I am talking about is the need for a climate change from anger to kindness. The last few years have brought out from the shadows pockets of anger and hatred. Anger and hatred have always been there, but now no one is exempt. In some ways, we have an opportunity to address as a country the toxicity that was allowed to flourish. But here’s the kicker, climate change takes a commitment to remain clear and grounded. It also takes courage. Speaking up to others in a way that can be heard means a high level of self-control and a commitment to walking the talk. Martin Luther King knew that and embodied the principle of a truly regulated nervous system. This is not intended to provoke a conversation on cultural appropriation or violence over self-control. It is instead intended to encourage thinking of role models who if here today could have helped support a true emotional climate change.