You know that guy or girl who goes out of their way to tell you, and others, that you are nothing? It is like their life mission is to bring you down, and make sure you do not feel good about yourself. They are motivated by a fear that people will continue liking you, or looking up to you; God forbid they fail in their “noble” pursuit. If you have encountered more than one of these “righteously” angry or hateful people, you might have picked up an interesting fact; most haters have low self-confidence. By putting you down, they feel lifted up. In The Church and The Community, Page 22, I wrote about Dr. Sherwin K., an atheist, secular Jew who loathed seeing Messianic Jews succeed in leading a public Chanukah Lighting. Our win was a loss or affront to him, and he made sure to lash out at us more than once. Do not let anyone with low self-confidence or self-esteem, bring down yours down. You earned it.
Long gone are the days of “if you do not have something nice to say, do not say anything at all.” Especially if the “perpetrator” is not doing anything to you, is it really necessary to write letters to the editor filled with your disdain, or build an entire website to hold all of your negative thoughts and feelings? Sadly, for some people, if they do not have something nice to say they feel it needs to be said to the whole world, but if you are the subject of such negative attention, know that you can positively use it for your advantage. In The Church and The Community, Page 39, I wrote about how what was purposed as a public relations barrage, ended up increasing awareness and sensitivity for our beliefs. So the next time someone does not have anything nice to say, and then says it publicly, know that “any news is good news”, and you can positively use it to increase exposure of your product or service.
Especially in today’s narcissistic and self-centered world, who still admits when they are wrong? It is so much easier to justify our behaviors or say the result “was not our intent”, but in reality, we all have fault, and transgress against other people, unless of course you are Jesus Christ. Assuming you are not (Jesus has other things to do than read our blog), there will come a day, possibly multiple, when YOU will be forced to admit YOU messed up, and or have a problem. Bad employees and managers keep their issues bottled up inside, or hidden in your closet. They hope no knows their faults but that is also the downside; no one is able to help you fix it, stay accountable, and reconcile with those you wronged. In The Church and The Community, Page 130, there is an account of how a good person benefited from reconciling their issues with other people, publicly. Are you brave enough to do so?
It has been 17 years since terrorists crashed two planes into the World Trade Center in New York, but many adults in my generation, remember it like it was yesterday. We recall vivid details of where we were, what we were doing, and why our country subsequently went to war against Islamic Terrorists in the Middle East. We will also never forget the heroism of the first responders, the sacrifices they made, and the emotional trauma that haunts many of them, to this day. I personally made the decision. Sadly though, there is new generation that was not alive, does not know, and does not feel the threat of terrorism. They might have a friend or relative who joined the military in the aftermath of 9-11, but without witnessing the terrorism and heroism yourself, it is all too easy to forget. In The Church and The Community, Page 105, I wrote about 9-11… may it be a legacy and reminder to all those who read.
When the planting or senior pastor leaves a Church, whether for good reasons or bad, the membership painfully feels the effects. The same happens when a founder decides to part ways with the company he built, and if an outgoing Chief Executive Officer is unable, or unwilling, to help the oncoming, the transition is rarely smooth. Add in the concept of the “source” (https://medium.com/maptio/taking-over-from-a-founder-ceo-why-it-goes-wrong-and-how-to-get-it-right-c424e7821f37) and it is no wonder why most organizations tank in the aftermath of losing their head person. The board and employees and members thought they would be able to easily keep the operation afloat… of course they did. The best leaders lead so well, they make their job look easy. In The Church and The Community, Page 79, there is the story of a church that crumbled after their Senior Pastor stepped down from leadership. I encourage you to read it, and educate yourself on the complexities of high level transitions, BEFORE you find yourself considering or dealing with one.
Once upon a time, friends and family were allowed to see things differently. Mom could be a vegetarian and Dad a meat eater, but the children would not realize their parents had conflicting dietary preferences. Differences were hardly talked about. Then came empowerment; passions and secrets burst out of their closets. People began to share why they believe and act the way they do, which helped many people not feel alone. For a long time, it was okay to disagree. Now we live in an age where to be a vegetarian in a meat eating family is to turn your back on your upbringing, and disown your relatives. Why? We have become so selfish and self righteous, it is no longer okay to agree to disagree. In the preface of The Church and The Community, I prophesied that friends would disagree with how I journaled their intersections with my life, and would leave me for it. Sadness and loneliness aside, let us bring back the days of old! It’s okay to agree to disagree.
There are people who do not care what you think, and they are hardly concerned about the wellbeing of others. There are also those who crave being worthy of attention, and they work night and day to show you that they are important. The word here is significance, and some people confuse this with narcissism… the former is becoming important because of what you do for others, and the later, what you do for yourself, or maybe even did not do at all but claim you did. A word closely connected with significance is sacrifice; are you willing to set aside your own desires, needs, or even safety, for other people? Most Veterans and First Responders understand this well, and in The Church and The Community, Page 185, athleticism was shown to provide the lives of these people with significance, even after they transition out of their service. What makes your life significant, and do you make sacrifices for others?
Whether from adversity, distance, lack of time, misunderstandings, or sh*t hitting the proverbial fan, relationships often come to an impasse. You would think all your friends and family would find a way to overcome, but in reality, only the true ones will. A few months back, a close relative randomly told me to never contact their family again… she would not answer my inquires to why. A good friend in the church recently got offended about something and gossiped to others the reason why they hate me (and would leave the church). Then it hit me, as I discussed in The Church and The Community, Page 178, how quickly friends and family cut off those they once loved and respected, or maybe never did at all. Only your true friends and family, will never turn on you, no matter what life throws their way. Lastly, know that God will always be there for you, and this author (Jonathan Dade, USN Veteran) will do the best he can.
I do not know why people do it; murmur or complain about their employer. Most jobs are voluntary, meaning you can turn in your resignation at any moment. Just go online, find the perfect company, and make the transition. Oh, that’s right; we feel it is our duty to solve the problem(s) before leaving. Well gossiping with fellow employees is hardly solving any problem, rather making them. And you know that worker who always praises the company? They are not doing that to look good. It is called strategy to be agreeable with the organization that pays you, which in turn motivates them to move you up the ranks. Finally, it rarely ends well for the constantly complaining employee, so stop it. The Church and The Community, Page 130 tells a detailed account of how it ends for the complainer, the employer, and all those involved. Dare to read it?
Adulthood legally begins as early as 15, but can be recognized as late as 21 years of age. In most of the world though, 18 is the average age wherein someone is legally considered an adult. Often, mentors and parents are comfortable talking with young adults about driving vehicles, purchasing alcohol, using weapons and voting, but few are willing to talk to young adults about sex. If a boy or girl is old enough to copulate, they are more than old enough to talk about it! Despite the awkwardness or difficulties, in order to ensure our future generations are making wise choices, we needto prepare them for the implications and realities of being sexually active. In The Church and The Community, Page 113, I said not to believe singles or young adults, when they assert they are abstinent. Many of us were similarly dishonest, with ourselves, and learned life the hard way. It’s time to talk about sex.