Posts Tagged ‘power’

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SPORTS and the CATHOLIC CHURCH

June 26, 2012

Ask yourself WHY these two  institutions are currently (and again) in the midst of pedophile national scandals.

The Press coverage and guilty verdicts last week of Sandusky and the Monsignor have had my brain churning.  What is it about sports and religion – both of whom purport to help children as one of their objectives- that fuels these awful nightmares?

Do they naturally attract pedophiles because that is where they find vulnerable children looking for a caring adult role model?

Or is the answer not in the pedophiles themselves, but in the institutions to which such individuals are attracted?

Why does it seem the institutions “cover up” or ignore as their first priority?  It’s getting hard to continue to accept that those who could step in and stop the atrocities “didn’t know” or “couldn’t believe it”.  After all, how many times over the last 50 years has it happened?

And yet, it is equally as hard to believe that either institution could with good conscience put their institution’s reputation, desire to win, fame, money, or whatever the motivator of the day is above the very audience they proclaim they serve.

Do they believe their championing of a “greater good” can ever be an excuse for the evil within their ranks?

I have no answers; I wrestle with this each time another horrendous occurrence surfaces. So I was encouraged to see the Monsignor found guilty. The Church may not think they have an issue, but the citizens that judged them found them guilty; perhaps that is signal that we need to look deeper for the source.

A Letter to the Editor in the Strib today presented the argument this is an abuse of power – and that when protection of power is pitted against the protection of disadvantaged and vulnerable people, “power will do whatever it has to do to protect itself”.   That may be so, but it does not make it right; so how do we make those responsible accountable?

The author of the Letter to the Editor suggests that we each individually now have a choice to make:  Do we pretend Sandusky and Penn State did not happen or do we learn from it no matter how painful?

And of course, that leads my brain to larger questions… Is it a reflection of OUR values that allows this to continue?  Why do we not routinely question responsible sources for cover up and hold them accountable? 

For me, there is no logical pathway to the answers.  The only thing I know for sure is that it is not enough to find the pedophile himself guilty; we have to fix the systems that value a win or power or whatever  more than we value the victim….even if it means a major RETHINK should be applied to both as we now know them.   Both the sports world and the Catholic Church need to understand the end does not justify the mean.

 

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FIGHT VS NURTURE

December 11, 2010

As many know, as election time arrived, I had not been able to resolve my personal concerns I had about Mark Dayton; hence after much angst, I cast my vote for Tom Horner who represented to me, the pragmatist in the middle.  No, I had not converted to a Horner disciple, I merely thought his stand on issues gave us the best chance to move forward in consensus-building to save our state and get us back on track.  I expected Dayton to win, but voted my beliefs and hoped Dayton would then find a place for Horner in his organization.

Through the recount, both Emmer and Dayton behaved as adults – despite Republican Tony Sutton’s diatribes and finally, reprehensible behavior in leading his party to vote several great Minnesota statesmen and former Republican leaders “off his island”.  Ugh to that brand of any political stance! On one hand, it most likely makes Tom Horner ineffective as he is now deemed the spoiler by the Republicans, but at same time, it opens up to Dayton  a wealth of knowledge and advice of those that have been marooned!  The time to fight is over; the time to nurture is upon us.

So now it is official; Dayton is Governor-elect and so far, so good.  Dayton pragmatically reappointed Pawlenty’s Transportation head so that Minnesota did not lose his knowledge, insight and plans to fix our badly eroding infrastructure (and hopefully his influence on federal transportation dollars despite the Oberstar loss?)

And then today, his appointments made me smile, as led by Tina Smith, his key top aids are all women! YES!

No, I am not a feminist.  But early on in my corporate career, I learned that a man’s reliance on caveman “fight or flee” mentality generally resulted in more power struggles than positive results- as so much time gets lost in pontificating and lining up allies and too little time is spent in strategy.  Somehow, as a young green spout, I sensed that I needed to recognize, understand, and learn how to quietly circumvent that men’s club-not take it on head to head. And so my own competitive spirit, stubbornness and tenacity led me in another direction.  During the 20+ years I played in the corporate arena, I tried hard and generally succeeded, to depend on strategy and consensus–building (despite never being able to conquer that female “emotional” trait).  And surprise, despite not having the “power”, I got things done-and spent very little time assessing whether I had “won”. I tried to live by a mantra of “I have not failed; I just have not yet achieved success”; and slowly, slowly, I moved forward.  When I left that world, I left behind me, a whole new generation armed with the knowledge and tools to push forward in the continuing evolution of change that should occur in any organization. And I have watched with pride as they did just that and trumped my successes over and over again.

And so, as I have watched Mark Dayton in the last six weeks, I’ve been encouraged that we just may have a chance to recover…and show the country that purple states- when they put aside their childish antics- not only excel but can become role models for others.  It’s time now to put the fight behind us and after these long dark years of Republican/Democratic impasse, refocus to nurture and help our state grow.  Minnesota has done it before in many arenas; and I am looking forward to working together to do it again!

 POSTSCRIPT:  I realized this morning I did not get this posted yesterday, and reading it over in a different frame of mind, I was struck by how applicable these thoughts are in other avenues of my life as well.  As men ,and women both, experiment, learn and meld together those old cavemen instincts of fight or flee vs. nurture and grow, we cannot help it…our instincts oft-times won’t let us “let go”.  We all need a reminder – what we have fought to build needs the same chance we had – to experiment , change and grow – generally not in our likeness, but in an innovative and improved direction…and if we cannot do that, we become the poison that kills the growth.  A lesson I’ve needed to learn over and over again- in business, in organizations to which I belong, and in my volunteer work – how about you?