Friday, November 22, 2013

Civil Disobedience

One of the most powerful tools to push social change is civil disobedience - a non-violent refusal to accept a law in the face of injustice.  In Montgomery County PA, D. Bruce Hanes defied Pennsylvania law and began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples.  Rev. Frank Schaefer defied Methodist church law and officiated at his son's same sex wedding.  Both believed they were defying unjust laws and acting on greater authority.
Hanes believed he was acting on authority of the Supreme Court and his oath to preserve the constitution. Rev. Schaefer believed he was acting on the authority of Jesus Christ.  Both knew they were headed for a direct conflict with those who feel they must protect laws preventing same sex marriage.  They chose civil disobedience.
As we watch their stories play out in the court systems - secular and religious - we are seeing history in the making.  This is a new twist.  No matter the outcome in their particular cases, more civil disobedience will follow.  What is appealing about these two cases is that they acted as though the unjust law did not exist.  They simply did what they believed was the right thing to do.  Of course they knew there were laws that would be applied to their actions and were supposed to prevent them from doing what they did.  They did it anyway.
To the best of my knowledge neither is personally gay.  They stood and they acted on behalf of others.  This takes great courage, conviction and heart.  No one would have thought less of them if they said their position prevented them from taking this stance or acting in this way.  They personally had nothing to gain and much to loose.
These are interesting and amazing times.  It's encouraging to see examples of such courage.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Once Upon a time, I had a new boss....

Just over a decade ago, I had a new boss.  Our company was undergoing enormous change and we were all under great pressure.  As tough as it is to have a new boss, it's even more difficult when you know your very job is also on the line.
We had a huge opportunity to demonstrate excellence for the company.  My new boss was certainly looking for a chance to shine in his new position.  He offered me a challenge and listened to how I would meet that challenge.  We launched the plan.  If we failed, we would fail in front of nearly 300 people including those who decided the fate of our jobs.  We rehearsed endlessly, staying up late rehearsing the night before the event.  I swear I pushed a single button 1000 times before he called it a night.
The next day, the event went off without a hitch and everyone involved in the preparations was called into a room with the top brass to assess the event's success.  They offered applause to my new boss and he literally stepped aside and pointed to my team.  In my career, I had never had a boss who did not take the limelight for himself.  In that moment, my whole perspective of the relationship between a manager and his or her subordinates was transformed.  This man was a builder of something bigger and longer lasting than one moment in the limelight.  And for more than a decade, we worked on bigger and better things for our company - together.
I never dreaded seeing him or getting a call - any time of the day or night or on a weekend.  I knew - I trusted - that if he called, it was important and it was always for the good of the company as he believed when he called.  I did not worry about ulterior motives or poor judgement or poor timing or any other concern.  Always I trusted that we had a job to do and would work together to that end.  I  trusted that he would hear my concerns, value my perspective and let me use my skills to best serve the company.
I am thankful for having that experience.  I am hopeful that I will have that experience again in my career.  I am determined to offer those who work for me, that same experience.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Advice from Molly Mutt Paws and Timid Tobey

Molly Mutt Paws and Timid Tobey Sheltie have a lot of good advice about dealing with relationships and I realize I should pay more attention to what they know.   Well, a few I may need to discuss with them further.

Molly says:
1)  Always be excited to see your human even if they were only gone 5 minutes.
2)  It's ok to ask for things but don't get too disappointed if the answer is no.
3)  Don't leave messes.
4)  If you do leave a mess, blame Tobey.
5) If you really, really want something your human doesn't want you to have, take it and apologize later.
6)  Practice a really sad and sorry look.  It's very effective on humans.
7)  Be willing to go anywhere, any time.
8)  Have a dedicated pouting area.
9)  Be persistent if your human is ignoring you.
10)  Don't worry about yesterday.

Tobey says:
1)  If you don't want to do something, act clueless.
2)  Even if you're scared, try really, really hard to get closer to nice people.
3)  Pick someone you trust (Like Molly) and try to do whatever she does.
4)  Be playful as much as possible.
5)  Have a safe spot where you can hide or kick back and spread out.
6)  Look at things through a veil sometimes.  It's very interesting.
7)  If you don't want to get close to people, at least talk to them.
8)  If your human won't pet you, get under their hand and move around.  Pretty soon they get it.
9)  Let Molly win but let her know you could win if you wanted.
10)  What's yesterday?