Oh, Mary

Choose a Side

October 8, 2020
Patrick McGuire

This week, Action Mary launches Choose a Side, placing the purity of geometry alongside the conflict of human differences.  

We are doing this because, at this moment in time, we believe that human beings must recognize the simple truth that it’s our differences that unite us, as a race, as individuals, as citizens of this planet. We are all different, which means we are all the same. 

The earliest hunters pursued quarry based on instinct. They were driven by a primal need imbedded in their DNA. Now, we must pursue the freedom to agree or disagree with the same primal passion. We do this because the act of bringing people together, despite their differences, fuels energy itself. 

It was Einstein who famously said, “Love is light (and also) gravity because it makes people feel attracted to others.” The idea that human understanding can actually fuel energy is a physical construct. It furthers curiosity and interconnectedness and innovation.

So, the freedom to agree or disagree with others is a foundational, constructive lens that allows us to learn, especially in politics, that others who are not on our side are simply, different.  

The most obvious freedom of this Darwinian scheme is the desire to live happily. But happiness cannot be won solely with the human mind. It takes heart. Living happily occurs because we hold our duty to social harmony sacred. That is how and from where happiness originates. 

To watch a presidential debate is to see human understanding on life support. Dialogue and compromise, abandoned as failed social experiments, are mocked as weakness and tossed into the subway of broken dreams. This is what a failure to accept differences as unity looks like. No one listening, no one learning. 

No bankruptcy solely affects the bankrupted. Every time an enterprise fails, someone in the supply chain loses. The key question is, how do we use freedom to create energy versus pure competitive advantage? 

In business, logic dictates that there is no such thing as a winning campaign for one side or the other. Not for the agency. Not for the client. If you’re clever, and just plain lucky, it’s the customer who wins.  

Winning over the weak shows a paucity of strength. When we turn a blind eye to suffering it corrodes our spirit. Makes us numb to our potential. And yet it is mutual respect and the curiosity to learn from others that bonds humans together.

No matter how separate or alien another might feel to us, we are united by a shared humanity—one that empowers us to question and diverge, debate and protest. The diversity we see in the world isn’t something we can look across at and externalize. It’s connected to us and reaches out from us. It creates energy that moves the human race forward. 

In our past, we have seen moments when differences were accepted as a prerequisite towards finding the best future. Just because we don’t see that right now, in 2020, is probably why we all feel so tired. We don’t have that energy that the freedom to agree or disagree brings with it. Presented before us at this moment in time, is to evolve that freedom, reinvest in it, and resolve to benefit from it. 

So, as long as we’re different, maybe things can be the same, only a little different.