Personal but relative.…Filling in for Herman Cain yesterday, I decided on a hotbed topic. I knew it would incite calls. And it did. So many in fact, the screener had to turn callers away. Also, because I hit some nerves. As intended.
I’m the kid in the family no one ever really liked. For a myriad of reasons I won’t get into here, but one for sure, was my desire to communicate. To be honest. To just get the damn thing out on the table and admit something stinks! Not to find fault as much as, to get back to relationship.
The relationship of being allowed to be different, yet still occupy the same familial space with respect, dignity and care. It rarely ended well. And has in essence, estranged me from what was the only family I knew for most of my life. Alienation informed by jealousy will always lead to the death of any relationship.
Jealousy. A sh*tty constitution to live by, but people sign it and seal it with approval, daily.
Apparently, this is the price of admission to an essential space called the ‘wilderness’ according to Dr. Brene Brown. The willingness to show up, be completely you and not run from the consequences. I wouldn’t change it if I had to because to show up an any other way but honest, is not only disingenuous, it’s to be absent. I can do alone on my own. And I do. A lot. Talking about Jesus and politics on the number one news radio station in the country lends itself to understanding the cost of personal constitution.
If you have a strong constitution and no desire to control others, you might find yourself in the wilderness too, more often than not. But the other price is higher. Trust me.
Along those lines, the world is demanding the corporate environment become a safe space of total immersion and inclusion. In lieu of honest dialogue about the unnecessary burden of accepting every wind of personal doctrine, it is actively turning the boardrooms of corporate productivity into justice forums that would make SCOTUS look like Judge Judy.
Corporate America seems to have said amen in the hopes of a bottom line utopia predicated upon making sure its culture resembles a 12 step program led by David Koresh. And with every program of indoctrination, the cost is passed on to the consumer. In more ways than one.
White Privilege is a term that will set most white people off. And as a white person, I’ve taken the time to observe why it bothers ME.
It’s not just offensive, it’s accusative. It’s to say that somehow I think I’m better than you or I got more than you did, but not because I may have earned it or maybe someone just wanted to bless me, but because I’ve decided I’m just better, you know, because I’m white.
And as someone whose family of origin banked on making sure I knew and was subsequently ostracized through their false belief that I thought I was more precious to our father than they were, I can tell you, there’s nothing privileged in my bones. It’s alienating. Birthed in the loins of accusation and nursed by a spirit of jealousy, it kills. It’s alienating.
And it’s intended to be.
If you want me to admit we have cultural disparity, just say so. If you want me to actively stand with you against police brutality or in creating new policy to ensure there is equal opportunity within your demographic, just tell me. You don’t have to accuse me of believing I’m better to attempt to prove I think you’re not. If you want me to know your hood sucked, mine did too. We’d probably have a lot in common that my skin color and your fear of rejection, prevent us from ever discovering.
You can tell me that you need me to partner with you because I share the same space with you called America. You can share your current personal struggles with me so I can understand your perspective without demanding I hate myself for mine. We can both point to our history and give thanks to God and the brave men and women He worked through to bring us here. But that takes work. That takes vulnerability. That takes humility and a desire for actual unity, not slogan mafias. Not by changing HR directives that favor my potential unemployment for not celebrating & practicing all things YOU.
We MUST take the time to THINK our way through social justice narratives that can and will leave us bankrupt as a nation. We must respond according to the truth of the lies perpetuated by institutions and governing bodies lobbying for the annihilation of our basic rights in the name of unity and progress.
The net has been cast to homogenize the nation in the name of diversity and inclusion. Accusation and guilt are benefactors of a nation answering for sins of the past without a Savior to intervene. And a spiritually orphaned America uses Corporate America to do the work of reparation.
Motives are important. With the threat of suit, which also affects bottom lines, are we really concerned about corporate emotional orgies OR protecting the fruits of our labor by saying amen when we should’ve said, not in my house?
On some level, our professional habits reflect those of the parents who keep popping the pacifier in the 8 year old’s mouth just to shut him up. Just to keep the peace. But I parented different. And I lead differently. And my team reflects it.
All of this socio-corporate ‘collusion’ begs the question, where is your autonomy?
Where is the safe space for the individual to exercise their lowest human nature in the way of biases and narrow sightedness OR their highest? Are we naive enough to think man is capable, without Christ, to create anything good, including but not limited to, a utopian society where we all wear beige in our thoughts, feelings and actions? This is still America, right?
The kingdom of heaven is indeed within, but even in that spirit, have we forgotten that we will have ought with our brothers and sisters? Why else would we be admonished to go work it out when we bump into each other in our spiritual mandate to mature?
As Christians, are we naive enough to think that people won’t sin against us with their biases, their fears and misunderstanding on their journey through salvation on this side of eternity, much less people of the world?
Today’s cultural ‘hall monitors’ are not exercising cultural appropriation for a better world, they’re actively practicing manipulation and witchcraft disguised as pseudo righteousness. Social engineering led by the 7 dwarfs of thought. Our mental houses should be bigger.
To disagree is human. To demand, mandate or otherwise socially guilt and subsequently ostracize those who don’t fit the social constructs of appropriateness, is birthed in a dark place. It limits God and exalts man’s best efforts to atone for sin through workplace programs to mitigate the litigious society that screams in tantrums heard in every HR department in the nation, “FIX IT! MAKE ME ACCEPTABLE TO OTHERS! PROTECT ME AND ALL MY LIKES, DISLIKES, DEVIANT BEHAVIORS, RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, MY SEXUALITY, MY GENDER AND THE MOVEMENT OF THE DAY TO BE HEARD AND ACCEPTED. BUT DON’T STOP THERE, YOU MUST TEACH OTHERS THAT TO ACCEPT IT IS TO ADOPT IT. TO BECOME ……….JUST. LIKE. ME. “
To that, I simply and resolutely say, no thank you. My liberty in Christ won’t allow it and the banner of my patriotism won’t either.
GOD expresses himself first through his Word, as order goes. He also expresses himself through the individual. We should protect our ability to practice individuality with the same diligence as ensuring work is about work and doesn’t have to involve appointment to a pride committee to ensure we can all be productive at our jobs.
When it comes to cultivating a culture in the workplace, as a minister, I believe honoring the individual’s autonomy while providing essential tools to efficiently and productively accomplish a common corporate goal, is the honey and money spot.
As a business leader, my time is mine and yours is yours. Your time on my clock means we do the work that needs to be done. I’m counting on your personal constitution to encourage your own accountability to a job well done. If and when I conclude through your actions and our communication efforts, that your work constitution no longer fits mine, I have the option, the right, and the mandate to my customers and/or stockholders to find someone who can align according to the company’s needs. Simple.
Or is it?
Riddle me this: What does your sexuality have to do with programming computers? Or pitching a new client? What business is it of mine that you struggle with anything in life other than how to DO your job?
As a minister, I can see where this would seem counterintuitive. On the contrary, I learned from the best how to allow people to BE. Exactly where they are. As they are. I learned that to insist others think, feel or otherwise BE like me is not love. It’s control. And for me to agree to abandon my own hard won personal constitution to appease yours is the practice of co-dependency.
And therein lies the obstacle to freedom and why the progressive approach to life may seemingly have good intentions, but as the old saying goes, the road to hell is paved full of them.
Call me old fashioned. I was raised by a depression baby who went to work and worked. He came home and did family. He went to church and did church. He went fishing and fished. He was a member of social clubs and brought all his experiences and diplomacy with him. He aligned with cultural groups to ensure his Greek heritage was sustained and applicable within that group.
He didn’t go to GM down by the Fed Penitentiary at 4:30 every morning to do anything but work. He brought a personal and professional constitution, his values and his honor, to his work. It was a privilege to work and to feed his family. It was his duty to do well as a faithful employee. Where is THAT narrative?
He was a whole person in and of himself and through his continuing relationship with Jesus Christ. Who he didn’t really come to rely upon until much later in life when his strength turned to weakness and his soul searched for answeres his co-workers neither could or should have answered in 21 years of faithful service. Not because GM created safe spaces for men to check their personal shortcomings, genitals or skin color at the door, but because he had a job to do and he did it. Well.
Stand now or forever hold our peace. What is your constitution? Can you be whole without relying upon co-workers to reinforce your frailties thru engineered amen clubs aka bullying? Can you as a boss, draw a line in the sand? Can you see that thru homogenization there is a separating process? Do you really want only one color or one idea informing your progress? Can you be gay and leave me out of it? Can you be Christian and not evangelize at work other than THROUGH your work? Can you just do you and let others do themselves?
I fear and see, it’s not diversity we seek, but sameness. How boring. How unnecessary and how completely un-American.