The Emperor is Naked

The emperor is naked.

Only a child is courageous enough to tell the truth: raw, unvarnished without cynicism and without self-serving agenda. “He has no clothes,” she says. “He is lying. His lies are destroying our only home.”

In 1837 Hans Christian Anderson published The Emperor’s New Clothes as an expose of hypocrisy, courtly vanity and snobbery of Danish bourgeoisie. The story goes further back to a Persian folk tale of the 1300s and even further back to an Indian fable recorded in 1283.

This story of a naked ruler whose absurd pretense is encouraged by all around him has played out again and again in local and global politics, in our religions and in our own psyches.

Vanity, greed, falsehood grows unchecked in a leader. Weak, dangerous people are elevated to positions of power by those hoping to gain favor or recognition or influence. Deceit is allowed to persist by those of us who see the nakedness and simply turn silently away in disgust, fear, resignation, hopelessness or distraction of our dailyness.

The lies continue until a child from the crowd speaks up loudly, “That man has no clothes on!” Only then does the spell break so that we wake up and begin to tell our truth and to take a stand for what matters most.

Or do we? Perhaps instead we malign the child, tell her she is crazy, immature, unrealistic, unreasonable and naive and yes, she is even dangerous. Or perhaps we think - oh my gosh, she is so inspiring, so brave, so amazing, so wise! - and then we go back to our comfortable routines and to our preferred forms of deception and distraction, the more pressing immediate outrage, the most engaging entertainment and our prettiest comforts.

Yes indeed Greta.

Our planet is burning,

Our oceans are rising

And in the face of that we are all naked.

So now we must choose. Continue to be part of the deception and the distraction?

Or shall enough of us rise for love of this earth and for the children of all species to create a new way forward?

As Al Gore reminds us this week in the New York Times, It is Not Too Late.

You can make a difference. Personal actions to reduce your carbon footprint coupled with letters, phone calls and personal visits to elected officials and decision makers can mobilize powerful changes.

We can lead the way into a more environmentally sane future.


All day, every day you are making choices. Consciously or unconsciously you are choosing your thoughts, emotions, actions, reactions and your attitudes as well as how you spend your time, your money and your precious life force.

Most people make most of their choices by default, based not on what they really want but on what other people do, on old habits or on what is easiest.

Decide today to become more conscious of your choices. Decide to make choices aligned with your true values, desires and goals. Claim your power of choice.

Think of a writer - of books, fiction or non- fiction- A writer chooses every paragraph, every sentence and every word he or she writes.

When a writer writes for a few hours a day- he or she may choose 500 or 2000 words.

You are creating something even more important than the greatest book.You are creating your precious life. Every day as you are writing the book of your life, You make thousands of choices. Are you making the choices consciously or unconsciously?

You are creating your life with every choice.

You make thousands of choices a day.

Does that seem overwhelming?

If so, two suggestions:

1. Shift Overwhelm to Enthusiasm, in your body. Stand or sit tall and say : I Claim myself as a powerful choicemaker. I choose today to create a life i love.

2. Commit to fully claiming one area of your choice. Perhaps commit to consciously choosing what you buy, how you spend your time after dinner or the firsat hour of each day or choose to be intentional in what you eat or what you read or what you are thinking about your future.

Claim yourself as the powerful choice maker you really are. You will empower yourself from the inside out. Choice by choice you will create success that will truly satisfy and delight your soul.