I’m reading Seth Godin’s latest book called "Tribes." It is a leadership book and as I read it he surfaced some things that helped me get a better grip on the way I’m wired. I realized I clearly have leadership aptitudes. I would have thought by 55 years old I’d be ready for cruise control but my mind is constantly working on new ideas, learning new stuff, I’m so inquisitive and curious that I know I drive some people to the edge. I’m always looking for a better way to do something or a new idea that needs developed. I’m also very skeptical and like to challenge most everything which I believe is very annoying to those who have to manage me, or try to :).
Any way, right now here are some things that I feel and believe pretty deeply in my gut. I wondered if these thoughts resonate with anyone else?
1. I love people, but I don’t have much time for people anymore who aren’t ready to step up and take responsibility for their own lives. What I’ve learned is you can preach to people, beat them, lock them up but until they are ready to take action for themselves, there is nothing I can do for them and spending much time trying is a waste of my time. You want to improve your marriage, if you are willing to work I can help you. You want to break a bad habit or addiction? When you are really willing to do what it takes call me and I’ll do everything in my power to help, until then don’t waste my time. If you are not willing, I am not willing. If you are really hungry, ask me what kind of work you can do to get your next meal, don’t stand along the road holding a sign looking pitiful and expect me to give you what I just spent my day trying to earn. If you are willing to help yourself, I’ll give you my shirt, but if you aren’t willing, I’m not either!
2. I’m tired of worrying about offending everyone and their brother. We have become too sensitive. I’m totally against putting people down because of their nationality or religion but it is time we trash the politically correct concept and grow up. If you are so thin skinned you can’t brush off someone’s comments it is your problem not the person telling the truth.
3. It is time for the entitlement mindset to end. You have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness but not to a free ride. I recently went to a health clinic and had this hit me in the face. The work sheet had different fee scales at the top. Mine had marked 100% full price. I’m sure most the rest of the people in the room, though young and able bodied got the "reduced" or "free" service reserved for those among us who are not pulling their own weight. It hit me that because I’m responsible and work for a living I have to help pay for all those who aren’t. I am eager to help people who really aren’t able to work. But I’m mad as hell about carrying all the freeloaders our country is enabling to stay in the "welfare system" and the "bail out system." There is a way out and the Bible spells it out. If you don’t work you don’t eat! Start practicing that part of the faith as a nation and watch how creative people become some will choose crime but others will learn to work.
4. I’m amazed by the group of men who come out every Monday Night to study and do life together. They are men who have stepped up to the plate, who are willing to do what it takes to improve their own lives, who are taking responsiblity to grow in their faith. I’ve watched many of them change before my very eyes. I know what I’m saying is true. You may not like it but that doesn’t change the truth. Its time for us to grow up as Americans and as Christians. If you don’t like the way things are do something about it, don’t wait for someone else to spoon feed you.
5. I’m amazed by 11 other men who are willing to sacrifice two weeks vacation, nearly $4,000 to spend that time and money doing hard manual labor in a hot primitive culture simply to help some orphans who can’t do much to help themselves. That is true compassion and Christ likeness. There is real need all around us and the more we become discerning sorting out the real from the freeloaders, the more resources we will have to help the real needy among us. I’m outraged at our lack of willingness to sort this out. It is easier just to throw resources into a big hole for everyone, those in need and those using the system. I for one am done with that concept. I’ll help people the Lord brings in my path in real need but no more for the masses from me.
My thoughts for the day,