Lead from the Middle

My friend said something today, in passing, while sharing how her little girls made her smile on a sad, crappy day in our nation’s history. She said, “Lead from the middle.” And BOOM. I am seen. I think more of us are in the middle than we know.

Being in the middle gives you no place to belong- because you’re not on one side or the other- you might be a little bit of both- but you don’t fit the bill to belong exclusively to one group or the other. The middle might be the most confusing, hurtful, scary place to be right now. But I think the middle is the answer.

Have you ever dropped a rock in water and watched its impact? No matter how big or how small that rock is – boulder or pebble – the impact on the water is in the middle and makes its way out, one ripple at a time. The water will eventually return to a calm, still surface, but the structure and environment beneath is forever changed by the rock you dropped.

Change isn’t just inevitable. It’s proven by science and history to be a necessity to survival. It can happen to you or you can choose it. No one is immune.

Make no mistake: YOU. MATTER.
Your words, your choices, your actions. They have impact and ripples that you cannot take back. It is an endlessly fought-for and hard-won freedom in this country to choose our focus, our direction, our words, our next steps.

Those of us in the middle feel silenced by our perceived inability or refusal to choose one side or the other and fit in. Those who do ‘belong’ will tell you what you are & what you’re not, how you should feel. Because if you’re in the middle, you’re not strong enough to choose one or the other.
No ma’am.

Being in the middle doesn’t make you weak. It makes you the impact that will change everything. Being in the middle means you are changing the environment beneath the surface. You can’t control what happens in the ripples, but you can control your impact.

So, if you’re in the middle – driving your daughters to school filling your heart with their endless chatter, all while praying the country you love (and that has loved you back) doesn’t fail them – sit with me, hold my hand. I’m here with you. The middle is where we meet, heal, learn, and grow – together.

“Lead from the middle, friends.”

Thanks, Mandy.

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