Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
She wanted to run with the big boys - but didn't have the stamina nor the wits to know how outclassed she was. She threw out hate, bigotry and lies . All of this is coming back to smack her up side the head. As almost all conservatives are wont to remind us, we have to take responsibility for our actions and our actions have consequences. Sarah, you are no victim. You threw out the ball and its coming right back at you. Here's to your consequences!!!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Definition of the Problem: Part I
On a personal level, I have always struggled with being able to maintain my own integrity while playing well with and bending to the perceptions of others. I also have difficulty with making an ASS of myself by jumping to conclusions, not reading e-mails completely, and not giving folks the benefit of the doubt.
On the other hand, I am rarely deceived by people. I seem to notice their failings long before others do. I am also an introvert, so it goes strongly against my nature to socialize just for the sake of climbing the office ladder by spending time with people I don't particularly like. That doesn't mean I don't socialize; I just limit it to the folks that I respect and appreciate and who most likely respect and appreciate me. It's not because I think I am better than anyone else, I just don't like exposing myself when I don't have to. I am what is called an amiable driver, so I am goal oriented and push hard, but I'm nice about it.
You'll find "positive" approaches to politics in tomes such as "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie and The Art and Science of Negotiation by Howard Raiffa , or more "cynical" approaches in The Art of War by Sun Tzu or The Prince by Machiavelli.
The positive approach doesn't spend much time on how to resolve moral dilemmas resulting from acting "as if." There is very little advice on how to deal with unproductive people a la Peter Principle. And there is little acknowledgement of negativity at all. Practicing this approach leaves me feeling fake and disingenuous. I vacillate between disgust and envy at some people's ability to wield this approach successfully.
The cynical approach is more pragmatic. It suggests that you do what needs to get done to accomplish your goals: the ends justifies the means or the contribution to the greater good justifies the exploitation or suppression of the individual.
I take more naturally to the cynical approach up until it involves manipulation, lying to others,
distorting the truth. In other words I am wary, questioning, and allow others to earn my trust.
The positive approach by acts of omission can result in the same. It focuses on what I can do to influence others to do what I want or to see things my way.
Two things before I start thrashing out a middle road:
1. Research has show that Depressive (Negative) people have a better perception of their own limits and of reality
2. Research has shown that positive reinforcement is more productive than negative reinforcement
(I really don't feel like looking up the sources for this - but please feel free to investigate on your own)
The trick is to blend these together without losing an honest sense of self and attaining a positive approach to dealing with office politics. I am hoping to develop an approach that will work for me.
Definition of the Problem: Part II
Oh dear! I've come all this way and forgotten to define Office Politics. How funny! Guess I better do that first.
1. Trying to present yourself or a problem in the best possible light, even though there are serious issues. In other words, SPIN.
2. Avoiding blame for any issue for which one is responsible
3. Pleasing the people in power by telling them what they want to hear
4. Desire for or maintenance of authority that exceeds one's ability
5. Seeking greater influence over those in authority for personal gain or gratification
6. Taking credit for other people's work
7. Use of non work related abilities to gain favor: ability to party, snob, and other un-mentionables
The impact of self serving political behavior creates a lot of stress on hardworking folks that are doing their job well and mostly don't engage in Office Politics. They end up picking up the loose ends, putting in extra effort to meet unreasonable deadlines, and scrambling to make things work after the fact. Unfortunately, this response ends up enabling these political beings' self serving behavior and does nothing to discourage it.
To be continued tomorrow..... I won't read Jeri's post until I finish.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Imagine you have just died. Often times we hear that people see their lives pass before their eyes. Those that experience this and don't die, find that their world view is fundamentally changed. Why? Perhaps they have had a partial experience of what it is we will experience when we die. I believe that when we die, that indeed the veil will be lifted - for everyone. At that point we will no longer be burdened by our biases, fears, and other chaff. We will see our behaviours in light of the truth - it will become obvious whom we have hurt, how we have impeded the growth of others and chosen paths that were self destructive. I believe this will be an intense experience and we will all be overwhelmed by the depth of our own faults. I believe this is being held under the blinding light of the truth. I can't conceive of anything more hellish than being completely exposed and having all my false pretenses ripped from me.
But there is also good news here, the wheat is separated from the chaff - we lose those parts of our self that are false, and we become one with God. So while we regret and feel ashamed of our failures in the light of God - we find that we still exist and are brought into oneness with the source of love and truth. We neither lose what we are, because we have always been part of the one, but now we are a conscious part of the whole.
I believe that the core truths of religion are those that help us separate our wheat from our chaff, help us become more like God while we pass through the journey of life, and lessen the distance or separation between our embodied and spiritual state. I believe our separation from the whole is intended to be a learning experience for us all, and that we will understand that purpose when we are reunited. Our need for one another and fellowship is a natural result of a longing for the state from which we came, and our longing to create the same state while on earth.
I believe anything else, tenets, creeds, beyond these fundamentals are man made and result in more harm than good. Anything that causes us to focus on the path of others rather than our own has a very high potential to divert us from the truth.
Many of our most insightful prophets, bodhivisttas, and messiahs have warned us of the wolves in sheep clothing: those that have all the appearances of being righteous but are rotten to the core. These are the people that claim they have the exclusive rights to the truth, feel free in harming others in the name of the truth, and exploit the fears and doubts of others to gain power and self esteem. These are the people whose experience upon death will be the most disconcerting because they have built their houses upon foundations of sand. People who willing abdicate responsibility for their journey by allowing someone to do their thinking for them will also be surprised that they wasted the opportunity to learn something from the journey and will bring little to the table to enrich the whole. I believe there will be a lot of surprised people.
What will the heaven be? How about: all of our wounds being healed, heart felt reconciliation with others, and the giving and receiving of true forgiveness for what we did or failed to do while we were alive, the leaving behind of the imperfections and pains of our physical being. Sounds just absolutely wonderful to me.
Given the events in Anchorage over the past week concerning the attempt to grant gay, lesbian and transgender people equal protection under the law in housing and employment, I find my self compelled to speak out against the slogans being used by fundamentalist Christians in efforts to defeat this legislation. Their belief that there is a gay agenda and that gays are pushing for Special Rights is just absolutely ludicrous.
Here's a short list of what I would categorize as Special Rights. My definition of Special Rights is simple: benefits or protections which all members of society do not share in equal measure.
- Churches not paying income or property taxes
- Church members being able to deduct their tithing as charitable contributions
- Deductions for each child on federal taxes
- 13 years of education for children subsidized by businesses and single people’s property taxes
- The right to live where you wish and work where you wish regardless of your religious affiliation
- Subsidized children services by both state and federal agencies.
- PFDs for each Alaskan child - which the parents can spend without the child’s consent and not necessarily to the child's direct benefit
I’m not going to argue whether society benefits from subsidizing children. But at the very least, the fact that it is given for free, should be appreciated and cherished by those that receive it. And this is a Special Right.
The non taxation of the churches was spelled out by our forefathers to prevent the interference of the government in the livelihood of churches. In the old countries, governments too often used taxation to control and persecute churches and church members by making it hard for them to gather together and promote their beliefs. This is called separation of church and state. This is a Special Right.
The deductions for tithing, I don’t really understand. Why should money that you give to support services that you mostly benefit from, be tax deductible: Church schools, buildings, staff, recreation halls, gyms, camps, parking lots, adornments, etc. After all these things are paid for, maybe there is something given to those in need. This is a Special Right.
This summary just scratches the surface of all the special rights and or benefits that heterosexual families and churches benefit from that are not shared by all members of society equally. Throwing around the term “Special Right” is just “Especially Wrong.”