Seventy-two degrees and a steady rain…my kind of day. I have not experienced such a cool day since last spring. Jonathon tells me that if he wants to know anything about the weather forecast he simply asks me. I told him that we old folks enjoy watching the weather. It appears that we may be in store for a bit of the September Rains.
Yesterday at Giant City State Park I enjoyed the sound of silence. The woods are a wonderful place to commune with nature. The sandstone boulders and stone walls are accustomed to visitors. They simply ‘are’ and want you to be the same. I wonder if I have always realized the truth of simply ‘being’ and enjoying a sense of place. I am one of those old people that believe we all have a purpose…a calling…a mission… It is important to have times of silence…where we can hear the still small voice…and not the whirlwind…speak to our souls.
Leaders forget that many honest-hearted people feel marginalized and not seen by them. It is easy and comfortable to hang with your supporters and with those that you work closely with and those who see eye to eye with you…when you are a leader. It is more difficult to offer your outstretched hand to someone who perhaps will not return their hand… It is nice to fellowship with the outgoing and the extrovert and with those who seem to get things done…it takes a dedicated effort to include the introvert and the quiet and those who feel as if they have a lifetime membership in the second tier of the church…or the workplace…
A popular myth is that there are leaders and there are followers. There are those who are blessed with golden speech abilities and herculean planning skills. There are those who have the education and the life skills for the job… While the rest of us are the sheep…who require a diligent Sheepdog.
Many sit silently and watch deterioration and decay and diminishment…and know in their heart that they have some productive thoughts and life skills that could aid and perhaps turn around the dying of a magnificent institution…but no one has taken the time or exerted themselves enough to ask them to join at the table.
Pigeonhole is what we do with fellow congregants and our work colleagues. We develop a definition of a person and in our mind, they never break out of the parameters of that steel structure and form…
Change or Die…is my motto of life. We must recognize when something is not working and make the proper adjustments to facilitate continued growth and success. I had the opportunity to tell both chancellors and presidents of Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale that they had a plethora of talent under their noses and for the mistake of pigeonholing them and failing to ask this talented group for their help…our University was losing students by the thousands.
Credentials and certificates we love. Persistent bragging and telling lies for the truth…when done on a continuing basis…convinces a lot of people of the talents of someone who is no more than a good storyteller. Our attention spans are short and our problems are long. We research only the surface of the human talent we are surrounded with…when the needs are deep and require immersive study.
Change is life.