When we independently fail to follow a set of transcendent principles that guide decision-making we eventually argue for our own preference over another which eventually erodes to a state of being governed by the mighty!
This is and always will be a struggle for me, due to the weakness that seems to be pre-wired into me. I can think of people in my past who I admired and this was apparent. They always seem to follow a clear set of principles, regardless, of the circumstances.
Recently I bought a product from Jawbone, which was a device designed to assist you with your overall wellbeing. It measured your sleep, activity throughout the day, including gym exercise and GPS tracking of your runs or cycle rides. Well it apparently went to market too early and there were an enormous number of complaints early on from customers. I thought it was a brilliant act of integrity to offer a refund to everyone and to allow them to return their old one for a new one. Clearly a Zappos type of move that is inherent in the DNA of their culture. We find people coming from all walks of life who are brilliant but seem to quickly find “the victim’s voice” when it comes to failure and avoid any “personal responsibility” for their unfortunate behavior. So they attempt to talk their way out of something they behaved their way into. I suffer from this as many others do as well. Somehow we are crystal clear about others shortcomings but completely and utterly blind to our own. If people understood the power in humility they would change.
Here we are in an election year and everyone is clamoring for position over the other candidate. Even our President is making his way forward to point out why he should be re-elected to office. This makes him like every other President that preceded him. What people likely want is a powerful leader who has the character of Abraham Lincoln and the grace and humor of Ronald Reagan, and this is because these leaders lead with great principle. In spite of difficult times, they stuck to their principles. The problem today may be that we, as a society, have lost our capacity to follow principles and live a principled life and principled leadership seems foreign to us. So when the strong leader behaves in a way that is clearly a part of his or her values and principles but disagrees with our preferences then we cry foul. In the case of a US President the principle must be those principles that were outlined in the US Constitution. I think our political leaders in Washington could learn something from these two characters about power and collaboration
When we lose this anchor to principle then we invite politics into every aspect of our lives. Politics is essentially the acquisition and application of power upon another. It happens to teachers, preachers, Moms, Dads, Sisters, Brothers, neighbors, bosses and co-workers. In other words, all of us.
So if you don’t want this “political power struggle” in your life and you truly want to live with a great deal of liberty then I will start with myself. I will start by clearly adopting a coherent and congruent set of principles that aligns with the reality I experience. I will do my best each and everyday to behave exactly how I intend. When I fail and I will, I will humbly admit, without excuse to those impacted by my failure and work harder to stay on point tomorrow.
How about you? Live well and be better than others expect!