where religion and politics meet

Everyone has a worldview. A worldview is what one believes about life: what is true, what is false, what is right, what is wrong, what are the rules, are there any rules, what is the meaning of life, what is important, what is not.

If a worldview includes a god/God, it is called a religion. If a bunch of people have the same religion, they give it a name.

Countries also have a worldview, a way of looking at life that directs government policies and laws and that contributes significantly to the culture. Ours used to be Christianity. Now it is secularism, which is practical atheism.

Some of us are trying to engage the government, the culture, and the people who live here to see life again from a Christian perspective and to show how secularism is both inadequate and just plain wrong.

A religion is not a culture, though it creates one. It is not what you prefer, like your taste in music or your favorite movie. It is what you believe to be true. Because it deals with things like God, much of its contents is not subject to the scientific method, but the reasons why one chooses to believe in God or a particular religion certainly demand serious investigation and critical thinking.

Every human being has the duty to search for and learn the truth about life. Education and science used to be valuable tools in this search, but science has chosen to answer the foundational questions without accepting the possibility of any supernatural causes, and education no longer considers the search to be necessary or worthwhile.

poligion: 1) the proper synthesis of religion and politics 2) the realization, belief, or position that politics and religion cannot be separated or compartmentalized, that a person’s religion invariably affects one’s political decisions and that political decisions invariably stem from one’s worldview, which is what a religion is.

If you are new to this site, I would encourage you to browse through the older articles. They deal with a lot of the more basic issues,

For now I want to focus my writing now articles specifically addressed to Christians. So most of my new posts will be on my other website listed below. I will continue to write and post short responses to newspaper columns and letters and even other articles as the inspiration hits me.

Visit my other websites theimportanceofhealing blogspot.com where I talk about healing and my book of the same name and LarrysBibleStudies.blogspot.com where I am posting all my other Bible studies. Follow this link to my videos on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-RztuRKdCEQzgbhp52dCw

If you want to contact me, email is best: lacraig1@sbcglobal.net

Thank you.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Qualities of a Leader: 4. Communication

The Qualities of a Leader:

4.  Communication

To persuade others you must talk in terms of their wants. 
You must know their needs, their hopes, their ambitions, their fears.
Know to “what gods they pray and what kind of fights they have,”
know what songs they sing, and what sentiments they applaud.
William Norwood Brigance, Speech: Its Techniques and Disciplines in a Free Society, 2nd ed., p. 112

                To truly be a leader, you first need to know where you are going and how to get there.  Then you need to be able to communicate that to your followers.  And this is where it can get tricky.  Your job is to get a person or persons from point A to point B.  And when they get there, they need to be happy, enthused, and full of energy.  We don’t just want compliance to the standards and rules of Whole Foods, we want an exuberance which can be felt by every person who comes into our store.  This is what can set us apart from our competitors.  If we get compliance but we suck the joy out of our team, we have accomplished nothing. 

                Communication: that is the fourth indispensable quality that Maxwell says leaders need.  It must be competent, clear, and consistent.  We usually understand this kind of communication as our telling our team the rules and expectations of the company.  But that is only a small part of our communication.  It’s not just what we say but how we say it.  It’s not just what we say with our words but what we say with our lives.  The fact is we are always communicating something to our team, and we don’t always know what is speaking the loudest.

                Abraham Maslov was a famous psychologist who developed a commonly used theory of personality to understand human behavior.  He lists the basic human needs from lowest to highest, with the highest being what he calls self-actualization.  “The need for self-actualization refers to the need to develop the full potentialities of the person.”  (Clifford T. Morgan and Richard A. King, Introduction to Psychology, 3rd ed., p. 494)

                We have said before that not everyone who works for us will want to find the meaning of their lives in selling groceries or promoting healthy living among our customers.  But they need to find meaning for them to be truly happy.  Now the fact is we are not a church, a mental health clinic, or a therapy group.  But, according to Maslov, if a person’s lower needs are not met, he/she will never get around to doing much for the higher needs. 

                And what are some of these lower needs?   Things like food and shelter, security, stability, order, affection, prestige, and success.  Most of our people spend a lot of time here, and they’re here just to make a living.  I try to make this the most fun they can have and still call it work.   One of my guys was recently complaining about someone on our team, and I told him, “Working back here is like a party without the balloons.  Don’t let this ruin your fun.”

                I have said that I am committed to the people on my team.  If I just fire someone who is having problems, that doesn’t take any leadership skills.  Some managers like to keep their people “on their toes”, so to speak.  They think they might work better if they had to fight to keep their jobs.  Is that true?  Do I feel secure in my job?  No, not at all.  Why?  For various reason, but I see a company that is used to seeing people coming and going, and it would get along quite well without me. 


                But the more important question is:  does this insecurity make me more productive?   No, I don’t think so.  I do my best for other reasons; but for me, negative, stressful feelings on the job only take away from the energy I want and need to do my best.  I would rather my people do their best because this is the best job they ever had and this is the best company they could ever work for than for them to always wonder if they are ever doing good enough.

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