Lancing My Big Toe or the Tipping Point into America’s Great Reset

Debridment is a super cool word- it’s one of my new best friends. It’s a word a lot of people need to learn and to come to know, intimately, in my opinion.  So what does it mean?

Definition: de·bride·ment  n.
Surgical excision of dead, devitalized, or contaminated tissue and removal of foreign matter from a wound.

This word is most clearly associated with a physical wound.  But I would like to associate it with mindset and what we need to do to increase the speed of our economic recovery; and restore our hope for a “great reset”.

I could not agree more with the premise behind a book Richard Florida released in 2010, The Great Reset.

“We tend to view prolonged economic downturns, like the Great Depression of the 1930’s and the Long Depression of the late 19th century, in terms of the crisis and pain they cause, rather than as the opportunities they invariably represent. But history teaches us that these great crises are opportunities to remake our economy and society and generate whole new epochs of economic growth and prosperity. These periods of “creative destruction” have been some of the most fertile, in terms of innovation, invention and energetic risk-taking in history, and this is what sets the stage for full-scale recovery.”~Richard Florida

We need to debride America. She lay here in front of us all- draping her weeping wounds filled with puss upon us and it’s time to debride them. We need to help our traumatized Vets, our crooked CEO’s, child molesting coaches, all of those too who opt for telling “little white” lies instead of the truth, and lets not forget our garden variety brainy scientist types on the verge of becoming Colorado’s next asassin terrorist if they don’t find a way to use their gifts- be more valued- then working at McDonalds.

What about you? What debriding do you have to do?

If we don’t reset our thinking, retool our  habits of minds and arm ourselves with new new ways of being and doing, our wound(s), no matter how big or how small, are never going to heal. It surely does not take the melt down of a want to be rocket scientist to figure this out. But it’s hard getting out the lancing knife isn’t it, cause we know it’s going to hurt.

I sit here writing from a beautiful hotel room over looking one of the canals in downtown Amsterdam and after being here for not even 24 hours yet,  it’s painfully clear to me this is what IS wrong with our America. This is how she and her people are broke.

We need to remove the walls between our personal and our professional lives and lead transparent non compartmentalized lives.

With caution about what we post, leaving us sometimes with trepidation about our decisions of what others see in our lives, we are learning how to  reveal more of ourselves thanks to the narrow boundary lines social media tools, like Facebook, increasingly confront most of us with  daily.  And this is mostly good. Our personal AND our professions need to become harmonious together to get back our mojo- to restore our will and our drive. We need to let others see more into us and know who we are, but first those wounds we have tried to conceal, and which are filled with lies, cheating, self-destructiveness and hurting others, have got to go. It’s time to clean them out,  expose them to some fresh air and restore some fertile ground for innovation, invention and energetic risk taking to emerge. Yes, lancing our wounds and letting them heal IS what will set our stage for a full-scale recovery.

And it begins with the “rising from the ashes” of a new kind of culture. A kind of culture artists and self defined creatives have a leading role to play in creating.

The culture of Amsterdam is ripe for emulation in America. And I think, especially in Chicago. Bikers rule and it makes the city feel alive. Mom’s ride with babies in baskets on the front of their bikes while the “hot chicks” with high heels and tight jeans fly by. Neighborhoods feel tolerant and inclusive; cheese shops, cafes, coffeehouses, pastry shops and retail establishments, and their patrons, co- exist side by side. The joint smoking couple sit across from the crowded outdoor cafe patrons next to the gift shop loaded with families and kids and everyone gets along. It’s the most amazing feeling to experience this level of acceptance and the peace and prosperity you can feel flowing effortlessly through it.   The culture is that distinctive here and its value clear.

Well. for the most part. There was the ticket lady on the tram that chided me for interrupting her and glared at me like I was a rude American. And then there was also the young Arab woman, with child, that stepped on my toe on the tram so hard she made it gush blood.  I don’t think the Arab woman AT ALL meant to step on my soar wounded toe- surely she did not know I had just lanced it yesterday. Clearly the tram was tossing her waif like baby imbalanced physique around and she just happened to step on me.  It was an accident.

I stood up and gave her my seat as she kept looking down at my visibly throbbing toe and the blood pooling up on to my flip flop.  She did profusely apologized to me. And when I exited the tram a couple ran up to me with a roll of toilet paper, said they saw what had happened to me, and wanted to help me stop my big toe from bleeding. Pretty amazing really.

We need new ways of thinking, new ways of acting and new ways of doing to express ourselves- ways that don’t leave us believing that the only way we can express our unique gifts is to stand in the front of a theater with an arsenal of firing assault weapons and say to the world ” Look at me. I finally have your attention.”


About Lisa Canning

“Vowels are to words what creativity is to the world~ pretty basic and necessary.”

Lisa Canning is the founder of IAEOU, the Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship (IAE) and Entrepreneur the Arts.

Follow me @IAEOU



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