Greatness is not measured by Money or Stature. It is measured by Courage and Heart.

Leo The Lion, "...measured not by money and stature, but courage and heart."

From http://www.pinterest.com

“You remember the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz don’t you?  He was supposed to be the king of the jungle but he had no courage.

Sadly, I see this missing in much leadership today. Let’s face it.  Leading others is hard. There is often loneliness to leadership.  Leadership takes great courage.

Here are some characteristics of cowardly leadership:

1. Says “I’ll think about it” rather than “No”…even when no is already the decided answer…

2. Avoids conflict…even when it is necessary for the good of relationships and the organization…

3. Never willing to make the hard decisions…

4. Pretends everything is okay…even when it’s not…

5. Bails on the team when things become difficult…”

By Ron Edmondson

 

headinsand
From Unconventional Leadership

What would you add to this list?

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Salad Bowl of Multiple Identities

“We don’t need a melting pot…, folks. We need a salad bowl. In a salad bowl, you put in the different things. You want the vegetables – the lettuce, the cucumbers, the onions, the green peppers – to maintain their identity. You appreciate differences.”

Jane Elliot

salad

“My first exposure to murder,” the Nobel-winning economist Amartya Sen writes in “Identity and Violence” “occurred when I was 11.” It was 1944, a few years before the end of the British Raj and a period of widespread Hindu-Muslim riots. The victim was “a profusely bleeding unknown person suddenly stumbling through the gate to our garden, asking for help and a little water.” Rushed to the hospital by Sen’s father, the man died there of his injuries. He was Kader Mia, a Muslim day laborer knifed by Hindus. He had been asked by his wife not to go into a hostile area of then-undivided Bengal. But he had to feed his starving family, and he paid with his life.

To the young Sen, this event was not just traumatic but mystifying. How was it, Sen asks …, that “… human beings … were suddenly transformed into the ruthless Hindus and fierce Muslims…”? And how was it that Kader Mia would be seen as having only one identity — that of being Muslim — by Hindus who were, like him, out in the unprotected open because they too were starving? “For a bewildered child,” Sen remembers, “the violence of identity was extraordinarily hard to grasp.” And, he confesses, “it is not particularly easy even for a still bewildered elderly adult.”

Boy

From Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

In his book “Identity and Violence”  Amartya Sentakes aims at what he calls the ” ‘solitarist’ approach to human identity, which sees human beings as members of exactly one group.” This view, he argues, is not just morally undesirable, but descriptively wrong. Instead, Sen invokes the myriad identities within each individual. The people of the world can be classified according to many other partitions, each of which has some—often far-reaching—relevance in our lives: nationalities, locations, occupations, social status, languages, politics, and many others, including identity common to all – HUMANS. Because all of us contain multitudes, we can choose among our identities, emphasizing those we share with others rather than those we do not.

Let’s focus on our shared identities and appreciate differences for peace around the world.

Humans
From We Are Allowed to Be Human

* * *

Was it easier for you to accept the differences between the women in the video below, once you saw their shared identity?

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The politics of chess

ChessboardFrom The Human Cost: “Your Life And The Lives of Those You Love Are Just Pawns On Their Chessboard”

“It’s a funny game, chess. Like a Mandelbrot set, there’s more to it than meets the eye – the more you look at a chess as a game, the more it really gets into your soul…

The World.
The world is, essentially, black and white. Right and wrong. Truth or lie. Do or die. For the pieces that reside in the world of chess experience this stark dichotomy on a daily basis. Their world, such as it is, allows for only restricted movement. They have no real freedoms at all…

The Pieces.
Each of the players in life’s little game has their role, as in real life. From the menial, toilet-bowl washers through to the “do nothing but sit around and look magnificent” top tier of life, all facets of class system are there. As in life, the pieces are more or less defined by what they do. “You’re a doctor? Awesome… settle a bet – is this a boil or a mozzie bite?” – likewise each piece on a chess board is effectively hamstrung, their career chosen at birth and with little chance of respite from the gruelling daily grind…

The Pawn.
It’s a damning indictment on the state of the world when you consider this fact: The most populous piece on the board is also the weakest. Like the serfs and peons of eras gone by, the fact that there are 16 of the so-called ‘little people’ on the world at the beginning of any match should supply some glimmer of hope – the most precious gift in the world – to the pawns. But they are not the sum of their parts. Repressed and homogenous, they simply exist to do the dirty work, and to die quietly with as much dignity as they can muster….

The Rook.
Ahhh… the safety and security of bricks and mortar are the lesson to be learned here. How solid and dependable are the rooks? They occupy and guard the outer edges of the world, keeping the other players safe from invading paws of curious kittens and insurgencies of spilt beverages. But how high is the price of such security?

I’ll tell you – it’s a terrible toll. Severely restricted movement, and a mindset programmed to think in unbending lines…

The Knight.
By immediate comparison comes the Knight, a piece with a wonderfully British outlook atop the chequered arena. It’s movements appear eratic, but are – in fact – carefully thought out in advance, taking into account the dual notions of sense of purpose and unpredictability. They like to give the impression that they might, if pushed, be a rogue state. Their wild nature is characterised by the brumby-like physical representation, which in itself speaks volumes.

But… and there’s always a but… on their own, they are all but useless. Any successful hostile action requires the recipient of violence to be backed, literally, into a corner with all avenues of escape cut off.

And then in rides the cavalry, to take the glory and claim the victory as their own. It’s typical, if you ask me… the horsey set always likes to think of itself as punching well above its social weight. When they’re not prancing about the board of life, you’ll find the Knights playing polo and drinking champagne…

The Bishop.
Imagine a life where you are confined in your thinking to a single shade. Black or white, once you are placed in your initial position, that’s it – you may not ever occupy a square of the other shade. You must only believe in the one thing, forever more, until you are killed or the war is won.

It’s a damning indictment upon life off-board – where religious views are expounded upon at length, but rarely scrutinised and never challenged. As with any belief that is set in stone, it invariably ends in tears – it’s okay to have convictions and a strong set of moral values, but without wriggle room, it’s easy to end up trapped. If you cannot see the other side of an argument, you are doomed to lose.

The other telling point about the Bishops is that they do not move in a straight line – not in the classical sense. They’re sneaky, often arriving unexpectedly from the far side of the world to wreak violence and brutality upon those least expecting it. All of this from a man of the cloth? It’s wrong… but it’s the way of the world….

The Queen.
The Queen is the most honestly representative piece on the board, in terms of power, gender politics and potential capabilities. As a female, the Queen is the sole representative of women. As in the real world, women are horrendously under-represented in the upper echelons of power. This is, of course, coupled with the obvious glass ceiling – the Queen can never become the King, as the King never dies. Add to that the constant threat that one of the pawns may indeed reach the far rank of the board, and suddenly the Queen has another contender for the favours of the King. It’s horrible… and an eerily accurate reflection of the real world…

The King.

Bloated, corpulent and lazy, the King is a figurehead – a lumbering dinosaur whose only relevance to the world at large is to simply be. Without him, all is lost – but his presence serves only to provide purpose to the lives of others, who must live and die to protect him.

On many levels, I’m sure the other pieces have grown to hate the King. The King is little more than a chubby dictator – his whims to be observed, his life sacrosanct…

In conclusion.
It’s obvious to even the most casual observer that chess is indeed a game – one that has its roots in the violence of conquest and its complexities founded in the notion of human interaction. But at the end of the day it is – just like the life and universe it mirrors – just a game. It’s unbalanced and bigoted, often violent and strangely bleak… and that’s the way we seem to like it. “

From The Politics of Chess by Gregor Stronach

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Healing through divorce

Divorce

From Divorce

There is a poem by Jack Gilbert. The opening line is “Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.” The reference is the Greek story of Icarus whose father made him wings of wax and warned him to not fly too close to the sun or the wings would melt. In his youthful enthusiasm Icarus got too close to the sun, his wings melted and he drowned in the sea.

The rest of the poem is about Gilbert’s marriage – how people thought it would never last, his memories of times with his wife at the beach, in Paris, and that they eventually divorced. The closing lines of the poem are, “Icarus didn’t fail when he fell; he just reached the end of his triumph.”

As Robert Taibb points out, divorce can so easily feel like failure but it is also about triumph – that you both have helped each other to grow and change over the years, to be a different person than when you both started, and now you have merely reached the end. Your roads have divided. It is time for change, a new chapter.
Crossroad on Hill

From Different Paths

This post is not meant to encourage those struggling in a weakened marriage to pull the plug. If there are children in the family, personally I would do my best to maintain marriage unless it gets to a state, when divorce is unavoidable. If marriage gets to that state, divorce can not only start a new chapter in life, but can also heal ‘old’ wounds. I have experienced that with my own parents, who got divorced when I was in my teens after almost a decade of constant fights.

My parents always claimed that they stayed together for as long as they possibly could for the sake of us, their children. Too long and too late for us, as their troubled relationship with constant fights brought more damage to us than divorce. Both me and my brother felt a huge relief when it was all over.

To our surprise, our parent’s relationship improved dramatically after their divorce. First of all, they started talking to each other. And I mean talking, without shouting at the top of the lungs or blaming each other for all sorts of things. They started helping each other occasionally too. A few years later mum even dropped a few tears, remembering how wonderful my dad was when they got married. That came as a total surprise to me, as I’ve never heard her saying anything positive about him during their life together.

Heart
From The Letters

However don’t perceive divorce as an easy way out of hard-to-manage marriage. As Robert Taibb points out, the most difficult about divorce is the need to do well what was hard to do during the marriage – communicate well, consider the other person’s needs, keep your focus on what is best for the children rather than using them as battle grounds for power struggles or forums for dealing with your own grief and loss. While you may have different styles, you need to agree on the same bottom lines.

Most of all take care of yourself – like it or not you are a model for your children on taking risks, the courage of taking charge of your life, managing life changes while staying positive and well-balanced. If you are okay, so too will be your children.

Keep in mind what Gilbert said: You didn’t fail, you just reached the end of your triumph…

Teens
From TeenFictionBooks

Failing and Flying

by Jack Gilbert

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph…

Icarus
From Glory of Icarus

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Stepping into the New Year: Focus on sweetness, forget the pain…

“The course of true love never did run smooth.”

( William Shakespeare, 1564-1616 )

TrueLove( Photo by epsilon-delta )

As Chuck Palahniuk once said, “It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.”

It is time to break that pattern, it is time to get free from its chains. Try focusing on the sweet side to ease the pain.

Easier to say then to do you might say… Well, may be, the following 6 tips from When Love Bugs You might help?

1Talk about your marriage. This seems like an obvious tip on how to make a relationship last, but it’s surprisingly difficult to talk about your relationship! Talking about your relationship can make it better – even if you don’t solve your problems immediately. Just talking about your marriage brings you closer together. Or, it can help you realize that you may not want to save your marriage after all.

2. Recognize when you’re pulling away emotionally and physically. Recognize when you’re pulling away and do the exact opposite. So, instead of retreating to your shell, tell your partner why you’re retreating. No blame or guilt trips: just honesty.

3. Be honest with your partner about how to make your relationship last. Decide together if marriage counseling will help your relationship last a long time. Couples therapy is an effective way of building better relationships if both partners are committed. One partner can’t save a marriage alone. When you’re in the thick of things, you can’t see if you or your partner is being unreasonable (usually, it’s a little of both). An objective third party — a marriage or couples counselor — can help you make your marriage work by bridging communication gaps and helping you see your marriage clearly.

4. Figure out what you need from your relationship. To build a better marriage, each partner needs to be clear about their hopes and expectations.

5. Decide what you can give to your relationship. Perhaps the best tip on making a relationship last is about what you can give to your marriage (not necessarily what you can get). A secret of happy couples is to be clear about your needs, but it’s equally or perhaps more important to figure out where you’re dropping the ball. How can you build a better marriage by improving yourself?

6. Learn how to argue in healthy ways. Building a better relationship with your spouse means you need to stop blaming, criticizing, or belittling your partner. Regardless of how your husband or wife treats you, you need to communicate with love and respect. You can’t change your partner, but you can change how you respond to her or him. As Ann Landers once said, “All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest. Good arguments are healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principle of equal partnership.”

And no matter how angry we are, lets never stop being caring.

CARINGFrom Funi Pics

Lets leave all the grudges in the old 2013 year and commit to making the New Year sweeter than the past.

Have a peaceful and happy New Year. 🙂

Hapy Year
From Images List

Related posts:

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