Friday, September 3, 2010

Principles of Powerful People Part Three

A while back I began a series called Principles of Powerful People. If you want to review part I and Part II, follow these links:

And here is part III:

XI. Powerful people know how to respect and honor even the smallest and seemingly most insignificant members of society. They take care of their planet, their children, the orphans and the widows, and the elderly. They have respect for animals and the environment, and they are not living only for today. They think multi-generationally. They plan and live for the lives of people they will never know.

In the movie Food, Inc., one farmer put it very well when he said the following; Joel Salatin: A culture that just uses a pig as a pile of protoplasmic inanimate structure, to be manipulated by whatever creative design the human can foist on that critter, will probably view individuals within its community, and other cultures in the community of nations, with the same type of disdain and disrespect and controlling type mentalities.

Powerful people think community, they are not individualistic.

XII. Powerful people don’t wait for justice, they fight for justice. There is one song on the radio today that just irritates me every time I hear it. It’s “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer. Here are the lyrics:

me and all my friends
we're all misunderstood
they say we stand for nothing and
there's no way we ever could
now we see everything that's going wrong
with the world and those who lead it
we just feel like we don't have the means
to rise above and beat it

so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

it's hard to beat the system
when we're standing at a distance
so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
now if we had the power
to bring our neighbors home from war
they would have never missed a Christmas
no more ribbons on their door
and when you trust your television
what you get is what you got
cause when they own the information, oh
they can bend it all they want

that's why we're waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

it's not that we don't care,
we just know that the fight ain't fair
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

and we're still waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting waiting on the world to change
one day our generation
is gonna rule the population
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

I just don’t agree with this approach. People who keep waiting for change are victims. Everything happens to them, and they stand-by powerless to do anything about it. Why live like that? Why settle for that? If every person used their voice, and their influence, change is easy. I challenge you to never just wait for change. Have the courage to fight for justice! The dominant state of the people will rule a nation. Will we let neutrality and complacency be the labels of our generation?

XIII. Powerful people don’t have addictions, they live a balanced life. Addictions are an indicator that there is an immense amount of pain in your life and you don’t know how to cope with it. So you have turned to a substance or an activity in order to attempt to drown out the pain. The problem with that vicious cycle is pain doesn’t ever go away until you fix why it was there to begin with. It may temporarily retreat, but then it comes back with a vengeance. Powerful people realize that pain has a purpose, and when you take care of the problem that is causing the pain, pain goes away. Pain is unpleasant, but it is not something to be terrified of.

If you google addiction, you will find this definition in wikipedia:

Historically, addiction has been defined with regard solely to psychoactive substances (for example alcohol, tobacco and other drugs) which cross the blood-brain barrier once ingested, temporarily altering the chemical milieu of the brain.

Many people, both psychology professionals and laymen, now feel that there should be accommodation made to include psychological dependency on such things as gambling, food, sex, pornography, computers, video games, internet, work, exercise, idolising, watching TV or certain types of non-pornographic videos, spiritual obsession, pain, cutting and shopping so these behaviors count as 'addictions' as well and cause guilt, shame, fear, hopelessness, failure, rejection, anxiety, or humiliation symptoms associated with, among other medical conditions, depression and epilepsy.

If you could identify with any of those crutches, I challenge you to get to the root of the issue. What is the pain you are running from? Powerful people don’t run away, they stand their ground and have the courage to face the things that are scary. They don’t always do that alone, they ask for help if they need it. But powerful people know that running away is not the answer.

XIV. Powerful people have the character and integrity to be the same person at home as they are in public. Many times I have witnessed a leader with an important title fail in this area. They have one message when they are in public, yet they live in hypocrisy behind closed doors. I am not impressed with someone’s success unless their spouse, children, best friends and closest colleagues are too. Because those are the people that are around when the cameras aren’t, and that is when your true colors show.

People who live one way in public and another way in private usually carry a great deal of shame. They may not even be aware of it consciously, but the failure to be true to yourself always has consequences. Powerful people don't carry shame because they have nothing to hide. Powerful people become more impressive the closer you get. I always get really excited when I see someone up-close and personal, and they are who they said they were! It’s rare, but when you find it – it’s a treasure.

The tolerance for hypocrisy is coming to an end. People carry cell phones now that can record conversations and video awkward moments whenever they please. Technology has drawn a line in the sand and has demanded a higher level of accountability and responsibility from leaders. Leaders don’t have to be and never could be perfect. But long gone are the days of faking it. Long gone are the days of pretense and empty talk. This makes me happy because now the genuine ones can step forward and have the influence over culture and over the world that they deserve. They are the ones who have truly paid a price, they are the ones who deserve it.

XV. Powerful people understand that unity is not always possible. There are times and seasons for everyone to come together for a common mission. And then there are times when you will be called to “rock the boat” and go against the grain. There is a tension to this principle. On one hand we are called to bring harmony and peace, understanding and tolerance. Powerful people don’t require others to think like them or agree with them. And then on the other hand there are times where we find ourselves in the midst of corruption and immorality where “tolerance” is not the theme to run with. In these moments powerful people have to stand up for what is right, for what is moral, and for what is healthy. The very delicate yet highly volatile debate comes down to the fact that usually both sides feel they are morally right. In the end the winner is either the majority or the loudest voice. Either way, powerful people continue to engage because they care.

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