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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Transaction vs Transformation

Anyone who has sat through one of my presentations knows I will eventually quote Richard Rohr, one of my favorite authors. Rohr is a Franciscan monk who writes powerfully and persuasively on so many things, and especially on how to be a good neighbor and live lives of grace, generosity, and mercy. (You can learn more about Rohr here.)

I am a news junkie: I read two papers online each day, listen to several podcasts each week, read
multiple articles on Twitter... you get the picture. Yet I have noticed that I found daily anger building as I continued to note the deep divides in our country, and recognize the abysmal ways we talk about and treat one another. Rohr has coached me in how to self-regulate and move in a healthier direction:
The Jewish scholar, Martin Buber (1878-1965, pictured here), said that the modern world has mostly entered into an I-it relationship with reality, when we were in fact created for a constant I-Thou relationship. The I-Thou relationship is an attitude of reverence and mutuality in which we encounter people, things, and events as subject to subject, knowing and being known, giving and receiving, tak­ing insofar as we can also surrender. In this fully mature state, those in I-Thou relationships refuse to objectify anything or anyone, but always allow things and people to be a fellow subject—even those they might dislike.

I like this for a multitude of reasons, but especially because it captures the essence of what I want to spend the rest of my life doing: assisting people in understanding how to live transformationally, not transactionally.

HOW to do that requires far more than a blog post or twenty. If you want to explore this further, I would strongly recommend Rohr's book to you titled Falling Upward. I also really value a book by Parker Palmer titled Let Your Life Speak

Can we all try to commit to pursuing I-Thou relationships, be they casual or deep, at work or at home and especially online? This is not a quick fix, I know. But I invite you to consider how you might slow down and engage, seeking to understand before being understood. 

P.S. Perhaps this is an addendum, but I'm intrigued by an article I read today in the Washington Post regarding smartphone addiction and how there are actually new apps emerging to help us regulate our usage. That seems a bit ironic, but is probably the best way to address the problem!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Grab Bag for June 4, 2018

Between a ten-day trip to Hawaii for vacation (yes, we stayed in Volcanoes National Park, despite the craziness going on with Kilauea!) and a three-day speaking gig in Wisconsin, I have neglected this blog ever so slightly. Yet have no fear, I've continued to find a bunch of different resources, and I want to share a few with you. Buckle up!

Starting Salaries for 2018 grads. YOWZA! Here's some fascinating news from CNN Money. Things are looking up for current grads. I'll admit to some jealousy... when I graduated from college, interest rates were at 21% and my starting salary was not anywhere near today's levels. Then again, there was also no internet or cell phones... and I walked uphill, barefoot in the snow, both ways, to work....

Books That Bill Gates is Reading This Summer. I'm a complete sucker for these sorts of lists. I am also a passionate reader. Two books I just finished that I would recommend are Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (I think I basically ready this in 24 hours... I could not put it down!) and Braving the Wilderness by BrenĂ© Brown. I'm hoping to read The Art of the Memoir by Mary Karr and The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone this summer. Tell me what books you are reading!

When Work Takes Over Your Life. I am not wild about Adam Grant's voice (OK, I'm picky), but I really enjoy this podcast. This particular episode was very good, and I have recommended it to several clients. Another podcast I would recommend: Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell. Nerd heaven.

Enterprise vs Entrepreneurial Leaders. I found this article to be really enlightening. I love helping people figure out their gifts and style of leadership. This one shed some new light on the subject.

How Compassion Can Make Your More Successful. Yep, I hate the title of this article. But the content is helpful. Think of it as another way to frame the value of team-building and emotional intelligence. Oh yeah - that's another book I'm reading: HBR's 10 Must-Reads on Emotional Intelligence. [Dork Alert!!]

Despite my slight cynicism over that last article's title, I'll end with this. Humbling and moving.

“To be a conscious person in this world, to be aware of all the suffering and the beauty, means to have your heart broken over and over again.”

-Sharon Salzberg


Hearty Bread for the Whole Journey? aka, "What's with the vague subtitle?"

If you have sat through (endured? enjoyed?) one of my Strengths Finder presentations, you know that I often refer back to my life as an eter...