Systems and Values and Thoughts (oh my!)

A post inspired by the blizzard out my window!
View from an airplane window at the wings and flying over a scenic landscape of green hills and rivers
I am intrigued by how challenged everyone is (it seems!) to get along, come together, make it work. When did the challenge become how challenging it is to be/work together and not the collective overcoming or resolution to the issue–the challenge–at hand? When did families begin to look like “casts” of a reality TV show and when did workgroups begin to resemble an elementary school playground complete with authority figures, upper and lower classmates, structure, bullies, cliques, purpose, games, inside and outside voices, stalling tactics? How many people will know “Outwit, Outplay, Outlast” and not “E Pluribus Unum”? What happened that we marginalize those with whom we disagree rather than bring them closer, try to understand and seek some common ground, and move forward together in service of something greater? How is it that the more connected we are the more disconnected we are? How is it that the more tools we have, the less we accomplish? How is it that the more we have to fill ourselves and our partnerships and our organizations, the emptierwe actually are (or appear)? What happened to polite disagreement, not loving one another but likingone another, agreeing to disagree? When did the customer become wrong? When did the intent of donors get “correctly interpreted” by creative internal bookkeeping? How did we become okay with working so much harder as the bar got so much lower? When did staff learn the way to success was to break the will of a volunteer and when did the volunteer learn that the way to success was to demean staff as people too un-something to do the noble work of volunteerism? When did it become so terrible to look at history to inform decision making today? And what is it about looking forward that is so scary to people who hold history so deeply? What are the barriers to saying, “I’m sorry” (or “I screwed up” or “let’s try this again…”) and what could be if we said it more? Organization, relationship, or personal crisis doesn’t usually just happen; it is typically an accumulation of neglect, mismanagement, denial, poor adaptation to change and yet we act so blindsided when it is in front of us. What’s up with that? When did our love for (and right to) individual autonomy become disconnected from personal responsibility and accountability? When did having our efforts or success or skills measured get conflated with our personal worth and self-esteem? We learn that driving a vehicle is a privilege and not a right; what is intended by this differentiation and what is your interpretation of this differentiation? I wish the salaries (and our collective priorities) would change and good schoolteachers(and police officers and firefighters and soldiers and nurses…) would earn more than bad professional athletes; what does it take to radically shift the values of this culture?

Believe me, this is not a post of spiraling negativity just 12 days into the new year! In fact, there is a lot about this post that is positive, provocative, and intriguing. And what do you notice in your world?

I am really intrigued. Really!
Time to go shovel snow!


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