It’s Time To Rethink What We Know by Maria Shriver

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I’VE BEEN THINKING

It’s time. Time to rethink everything.

How do I know that? Call it a woman’s intuition. Call it my gut. All I know is that I feel it deep in my soul.

I’m not saying this just because we have a president who’s been entangled in controversy with Russia since day one (and who finally met with Putin on Friday). Or, because we have a president who uses the power of his office to tweet videos of himself body-slamming a news network. (I mean, really? I know people think it’s funny. I know it gets lots of views. But there’s nothing presidential, dignified or classy about it.)

I say that it’s time to rethink everything because the fact is, there are just too many areas of our public and personal life that are in need of reconsideration.

It’s time to rethink our two-party political system because it’s just furthering our divide. No one from either party can hear the other. They are both at fault. We can do better. We can be more creative. (I like California’s open primary system. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.)

It’s time to also rethink our relationship with social media and our relationship with views, likes, retweets, mentions and followers. I know social media is capable of doing good things. I know it connects people to each other and to the larger world and its causes. But, so much of it is filled with rage and hurtful comments. Each of us can do our part to make sure we are not part of this. Our life’s purpose can’t be racking up hundreds or thousands of likes.

Summer is also a great time to rethink how we are working, how we are learning, how we are consuming our food, our energy, and our time. It’s a great time to rethink our lives and how we are living.

Thank God there are some evolved, enlightened, thoughtful and smart Architects of Change doing just that on our behalf. They are sharing their thoughts with us in today’s Sunday Paper. I hope their thinking will get you thinking, because it’s time that we do.

The fact is, whatever you thought “was” … is now up for renewed thinking. Our health care system. Our pension system. Our infrastructure. Our prison system. Our political election process. You name it.

This is the time for each of us to ask ourselves: What do I think? What better idea do I have? What kind of work life do I want? What examples do I want to set for our children? What image do I want to put out into the world?

The rest of the world is rethinking the United States’ role, voice and standing in the world right now. That’s why it’s a good time for us to rethink our own roles and our own voices in this country.

Are we passive bystanders who watch videos while laughing? Do we know more about Rob Kardashian than we do about our state reps? Are we part of the problem, or are we offering up solutions to help us move forward in a more unified and united way?

I asked one of my sons the other night, “If you could change one thing about our country right now, what would it be?” He said, “Our politics. If we could change the way we talk to one another, work with one another, and listen to one another, then everything else would follow.”

I agree.

So, here’s to our leaders rethinking the animosity they have towards one another. Here’s to those who seek common ground. Here’s to those who speak of solutions instead of pointing fingers. (See Mark Zuckerberg’s idea below, or the idea that two of his fellow Silicon Valley billionaires have to remake the Democratic Party. Their ideas may not be perfect, but at least they are igniting conversation.)

So this summer, think of yourself as a founding mother or a founding father. Think of yourself as a big thinker. If not you, then who?

Think about where we could be in 2025. Our National Alzheimer’s plan has a goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s and other related dementias by that year. What other diseases can we wipe out by then? What else can be different by then?

Steve Jobs had a vision for a computer in the pocket. It took him years to get there, but he had a vision. What’s our collective vision? What’s yours as an individual?

What does 2025 look like to you? Think about it.

Here’s to those who have the courage to step back and rethink what is, in favor of what can be.

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