Zoom the Lens Out
One of the great skills learned by coaching clients is to view a challenge or decision in the context of their whole lives. When we’re over focused on an issue, we too often have blinders on, which prevents us from making the best decision. Because we live panoramic, not segmented, lives, we need to “zoom the lens out” to best understand how all our pieces fit together. What is true of us personally is also true of us collectively. I was at the DC Women’s March on January 21, and was heartened by the diversity of the seemingly endless sea of people. There were elderly people in wheelchairs and newborn babies in carriers. There were white people holding “Black Lives Matter” signs and men chanting “her body, her choice.” There were seasoned marchers and people exercising their Constitutional rights for the first time. Although the 500,000+ people marching in DC, and the millions more in other cities, would surely disagree with one another on many issues, we had all zoomed out our personal lenses to focus on the bigger picture: the need to right the political ship that has dangerously capsized.
I have heard non-participating naysayers criticize this extraordinary, peaceful gathering as not representing them. They validate their decision referencing minutiae such as the over-the-top hats of a few people or the very bold, graphic wording on some signs. Although I found these props to be entertaining, I understand why some people might be shocked by these visuals. However, and here is the key, many of these critics have their lens zoomed all the way in where they are unable to appreciate and benefit from the collective energy, strength and knowledge of others. If they zoomed out, they would see that we were marching for them, too, hats and signs aside.
What an extraordinary experience it was to be amid a half million progressives who want the best for themselves and others. It was a day of seeing the larger political landscape regardless of our individual pet causes. By zooming out personal and collective lenses, the millions of marchers worldwide started the journey toward the promised land where everyone will rise, and when, finally, love will trump hate.