Change and Eschatology

The word for this week is transformation.  Change, alter, convert – there’s lots of opportunity to sacrifice your attachment to the past and move forward.  But change is a four letter world for many.  But no change is change as the world marches on without us.  At some point, the “new age” moves on and we choose to stay behind.
Generation after generation face the same choice.  Tracy and I aren’t there yet, we’re still excited by new ways to do things and new products to create and sell,  but my mother is. Teaching her how to play Bridge on her computer 30 years ago was a challenge.  When I finally got her set up she, as always, took it from there.  She upgraded to a better machine, went on-line and eventually figured out she could play live  on-line.
She’s not much into e-mail, but when my stepdad passed away it was a god sent!  After the services and we left she e-mailed me many, many times a day; then 3 times, twice, once a day then once a week.  Slowly she found her way to change her life.  She sold her home and moved into a semi-independent living facility that she chose.  She upgraded her machine again, bought a cell phone and even bought a Kindle.  She’s an avid reader, but soon the cell phone and kindle went by the wayside.  She keeps the Cell phone in the car in case of emergency, but the Kindle sits on the shelf.
She’s changed a lot over the years, but she pretty much ignores the drama in today’s world.  The next “new age” is in the throws of forming.  By 2015 the world will have settled out (or blown itself up) there will be new leadership in the U.S. and time will march on.  Eschatology, another new age, my 90 year old mother will probably nod, smile, pet her dog Joey and go back to her hard-cover books.  She likes it that way.

Control or Leadership?

Control

  • – to exercise authoritative or dominating influence over
  • – to have power over
  • – to direct the behavior of

Leadership

  • a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”

In psychology, Control Freak is a slang term that refers to a person who attempts to dictate how everything around them is done – usually those with Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder.  Judith Orloff, MD,in her new book “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life”  describes it as a person “who feels out of control and tends to become controllers.  Deep down, they’re afraid of falling apart, so they micromanage to bind anxiety”.  You can read her blog post at Psychology Today.

Compare that to the definition of leadership and the key word becomes accomplishment. Unless control is your ultimate goal and not  problem resolution, I guess you could say thats leadership. I don’t believe most Americans believe that. I believe they want leadership from their members of Congress and the US Senate, but most of all from President Obama.  Years of standing at a podium lecturing on legal issues and topics of the day have left him believing his title as Commander In Chief does not require compromise, discussion, or accomplishments.  All he seems to understand at this point is “a red line in the sand”.  Add  535 Members of Congress and the Senate and you get a recipe for the very disfuction we’re living through now.  Control – not leadership.

After 11 years of working in a Congressional office I know first hand the difference between control and leadership.  For instance, a CBS reporter asked Senate Pres. Reid if he has walked across the building or made any attempt to communicate with House Speaker Boehner.  His answer after he hemmed and hawwed for over a minute, with a smile was “I have done what I was asked to do”.  That is control not leadership.

So what was he asked to do and by whom?  One can only surmise it must be the head of the Democrats, President Obama.  Control is more important than accomplishments for the good of the people.   Directing the outcome has priority over resolution

.In United States history, the degree to which the President’s political party has control over the House of Representatives and Senate often determines his political strength – such as the ability to pass sponsored legislation, ratify treaties, and have Cabinet members and judges approved.  Moreover, it appears to have a strong effect on presidential popularity and historical ranking, especially in conjunction with years served and number of elections won.

With control over the Senate and 2 years with the House you would expect to see more accomplishments by this administration than there are.  And if POTUS spent 1/3 of the time he spends running around the country campaigning for one issue or another working with ALL members of congress he might learn how to lead so that others would follow!  I’m afraid he always gets out so far out in front he leaves himself open to get his tail end kicked – and the country with it.  How was President Clinton able to accomplish a great deal for our country without total control – he knew what leadership required.

At this rate, nothing is going to get resolved anytime soon unless Senator Reid and President Obama figure out what Leadership is.  They might look to Speaker Boehner for help.  You may not like what he’s doing, but he is leading.  So, maybe Michael Reagan is right – just wait.  By the first of the year the American people will recognize that Speaker Boehner is the only leader and they’ll be willing to follow.  You can read his article here.

PS.    Congressman DeFazio just sent via Facebook a list of agencies currently open.  Here it is:

Passports
Visas
Citizenship and Immigration Services
Veterans’ benefits and services
Active duty military members and families benefits and services
Customs and Border Protection
Patents and Trademarks
Social Security applications and appeals
IRS extensions, payments
Transportation Security Administration
Student Loans
FEMA
Overseas travel
Affordable Care Act implementation
Federal retirement services, disability claims
Workers compensation (federal)
Postal Service
Small business disaster assistance
Military Academies
Unemployment benefits