Interesting how well we as people have mastered the Blame Game, rather that talk about where we are, it seems important to establish who is to Blame? This is a waste of time as well as a miss direction play which appeals to our natural self-righteous natures. Most of the difficulties we find ourselves in are systemic in nature rather than isolated to a single cause. Blame thinking will cause you to focus on a single issue without regard to how it interacts with the whole, you will temporarily solve the single issue but not with any long-term benefit. Soon you will be back in the same boat but looking for a new thing to blame after all this way of thinking has worked for you in the past, well at least to the elevation of your victim ego. We need to stop moving the chairs around on the sinking ship of “Blame Game Thinking” and look for a solution that takes a hard look at our contribution to the mess. Here is where true transformation begins to happen, when we move away from what the Bible calls a scape goat to core level changes. So we shall give up our Freudian obsession with finding the guilty party and we shall move on to solutions based in shared responsibility and accountability. I will close with a few quotes and say if you don’t like this post it’s not my fault 🙂
Elmer G. Letterman “A man may fall many times but he won’t be a failure until he says someone pushed him.”
Unknown Author “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month”.
Doug Coupland “Blame is just a lazy person’s way of making sense of chaos.”
“It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you place the blame.” Oscar Wilde
Most of the time we go about our days wanting to be seen, please somebody see me, this captures the whole idea behind Facebook. If you want to be seen, it appears to me the best way to do it is to not look for it, really don’t even think about or develop any strategies for being seen. The average person on Facebook has 130 friends a small manageable size, most people are content with wanting to be seen, responding to friends and people they agree with, a very egocentric worldview. If you really want to be seen however the key is to see others, as many others as you can. In the Natal region of South Africa, tribal people do not greet each other with hello, followed by a request for information. Rather there is a desire to be the first person to say “I See You” actively looking to value another. The opportunity to recognize another human being first is highly prized among the tribes in this region and to not see others is a sign of disrespect. The response to “I See YOU” is “I Am Here” because you see me I have value, because you see me I AM here. So you want to be seen do you then don’t look to be seen, instead look for every opportunity to say “I See You” and you will be seen, it’s a God thing.
There is a theme in the teachings of Jesus, His focus on The Big Picture. Pressed to talk about himself, he talks about The Father,asked questions about the little things he responds with a Big Picture answer. Time and time again his eye is on the whole not the parts and yet the parts are cared for. When the little things are nipping at your heals it is sure a sign that your Big Picture view has become blurred. The problem as Jesus constantly described it, is not with splinters but rather the logs, don’t worry about the weeds it’s the crop as a whole the Father focuses on. I was looking at my windshield this morning when I noticed all the little imperfections because of a sand storm and yet on my recent trip to Colorado I never noticed the little imperfections, because I was too busy enjoying the view the horizon offered. We live in a culture that has stopped looking at the view the horizon presents, because we are obsessed with the imperfections that are life itself. So it is time to change the conversation and the way we see things, on the cross Jesus says, “Forgive them for they know not what they do” now that’s “Big Picture”.
Top Down Thinking Systems Thinking
Control from the Outside Control from the Inside
Dualism (either/or) Holistic (both/and)
In Competition In Cooperation
Us versus Them We
Power Over Others Power With Others
Problem Solving (the guilty) Discovery of Possibilities (the answer)
Focus on the Parts Focus on the Whole
Selling Our Image Being Authenticity
Chronic Doubt (literalism) Trust in Divine Mysteries (humility)
Quick Fix Long Term Concerns
Past or Future Fixation Present Moment Experience
Fundamental rigidity Flexibility and Curiosity
Closed to Change Open to Change
The age we live in demands a different way of thinking in order to grow, away from the analytical to the digital, from command and control to fluid and intuitive. Across the board the old kill it and study it mentality, must give way to how does it live in its environment and how can I assist it to live well in unity with the whole.
As a Pastor I have observed that when a person joins a group one of two things usually occurs. One they find that their ego and pathology stops them from actually living in unity with others. Or they embrace the idea that what is gained in submission to the group, is a good counter balance to their internal weaknesses. As a leader how you help this time of transition is very important, but you must remember your loyalty must be for the health of the whole. In one of the Star Trek movies there is a point where Spock gives his life ” the one for the many”. We have reached a place in this Post Modern age when the many cannot be ruled by the desires of the one, this goes for Families, Schools, Government, Churches or any system for that matter. Our future health and prosperity rides on a huge paradigm shift, from The One for itself to “The One for The Many”.
Every system has Protectors, that is those who guard and protect the system and maintain stability. These Protectors from a leaders point of view must be managed in a very wise way. If allowed to become too dominant they will completely cut ofF change and growth. Much like white blood cells in the body attack infection, out of control they attack the system itself. Some challenge to any system is absolutely needed for the health and prosperity of that system. So Protectors must be loved but not given a free hand, although at times it appears to be the solution to the problem. Believe me when I say in the long run, it will cost you and is a major reason for the lack of creativity in any system.
I have discovered an interesting fact, as I have been the pastor of a rather unique fellowship. If when there is struggle within the system and you just wait and watch, many times the system corrects the imbalance on it’s own. In order for this to work you must have faith in the system as a whole rather than your masterful skill at mediation. It is also important that you have encouraged strength in the system rather than dependence, as this leads to collapse eventually. Nine times out of ten the system will correct and in fact be stronger for the experience. That one time out of ten though you will need to buckle up, because there is a saboteur in the system.