When you can't avoid fierce

Fierce visited our house again last week.  A piece of rhetoric was delivered to my mailbox which made me angry.  When I pulled the mail out of the box, I was looking at what appeared to be an amateurish attempt to grab my attention.  Paper quality was cheap, black and white print, and half page photo of the Prime Minister with the heading "The Prime Minister has FAILED TO MANAGE ILLEGAL BORDER CROSSINGS".  There were at least two different types of font and a mix of capitals and lower case in the title. The "F" was circled to appear like a grade on an old-school report card.  It worked, I had to see what nut bar was spending their own money to fill my mailbox.  We have been subject to similar quality of mass mailings in the past especially closer to election time.  Most have been laughable and have simply met a quiet demise in the recycle box with a parting blessing that they will reappear in a more helpful and constructive way in their recycled life.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the piece of mail was sent by my Member of Parliament.  That's when mad started to bubble and fierce stuck it's head out to ask, "What you gonna do about that?"

In 2015 I read Seth Godin's book, What To Do When It's Your Turn (and it's always your turn), in which he talks about being fierce. I took it to heart, ruminated on it and wrote Moving From Furious to Fierce.  That blog was on my desk last week with all the research attached that informed it, in preparation for some work I was engaging in. Little did I know the universe was aligning to poke my fierce self again.

When I returned home from the mailbox, I showed the offensive mailing to Greg then I left it sitting on the kitchen counter for several days.  I moved it into different piles of paper.  I tried to put it in the recycle bin, but I had to pull it back out.  Somehow that stupid piece of paper had a hold on me.  If I was going to be true to my title, Chief Difference Maker, which I boldly or foolishly printed on my business cards, I had to do something with it or about it.  Eventually, the paper traveled to my desk where it again was shuffled several different ways in a hopeless attempt to make it just go away.  Finally, I did something with and about it yesterday.
Happy Canada Day!
I knew I needed to move from furious at the paper to fierce before I could do something that would be constructive.  By the end of the week, I had made that transition.  Fierce was in the house, ready to go.  The fierce response needed to be kind but direct.  It had to address the issue with the mailing and not attack the character of the MP.  The response had to be clear about what was included in the mailing which made it offensive and what was not included which made it weak.  I wasn't interested in racing to the Prime Minister's defence, it wasn't a partisan response in favour of one party or the other.

What irked me was the Trump-like approach that was taken and the complete and utter failure to offer an informed, intelligent position on a very complex subject. About seven-eighths of the double-sided document was taken up with photos, headlines, and the return mailing address.  One-eighth had some text which contained similar phrases to the headlines, a few statistics lacking any means of verification of source, and hyperbole - "there is a legal process of vetting that is being circumvented on a massive scale" and reference to the situation as a "crisis".  Talk about disappointing.  Then to ice the political nonsense, my MP asks a leading question.  He wants me to check off whether I agree with his statement and he has the nerve to call that section "Have Your Say".  Boy I had trouble managing furious and staying in the fierce.  Never mind the question in the back of my mind wondering if my tax payer money was used for this or whether the party funded it.  If tax payer money was used, I'll have to become some other kind of fierce another day to address that.

Somehow, I hold to the notion most Canadians want to understand, be informed, and have clear reliable facts.  Maybe I am living in my own little bubble, but I like it in my bubble.  So, my fingers did the talking.  Yesterday my Member of Parliament received an email from this fierce nana outlining my constituent concerns.  As we prepared to celebrate Canada Day, I wanted to make sure I was not spreading more furious as the world doesn't need any more of that.  We need more fierce.  The 2015 blog, Moving From Furious to Fierce, ended with these words:

"Fierce is about caring and making a difference in a rational meaningful way in the midst of the storm of fury.  "Fierce means living with the simultaneous certainty that this is vitally important and this might not work" (Godin, p. 78)."

Whatever you celebrate this coming week, whether it is Canada Day or Independence Day, remember our countries were built on the strength of character of individuals who were fierce, not those who acted out of fury.  Be fierce!