Byron's Babbles

Love Thy Neighbor!

Posted in Uncategorized by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on April 19, 2015
Choose Your Friends By Their Character & Your Socks By Their Color

Choose Your Friends By Their Character & Your Socks By Their Color

I want to begin this post by posing an essential question for you to reflect on: How can you make yourself useful and effective in helping to solve a social problem of our society?

In this week’s study of Peter Drucker in Maciariello’s (2014) A Year with Peter Drucker: 52 Weeks of Coaching for Leadership Effectiveness, I learned that Drucker believed that social issues and problems were of greater danger to the United States than economic issues. During the 1992 presidential campaign, former President Bill Clinton’s strategist, James Carville, coined the slogan: “Its the economy, stupid!” Obviously, the public seemed to believe this because Clinton won the election. Drucker disagreed, however, and thought our growing social problems were more significant than our economic problems (Maciariello, 2014). Drucker pointed to the fact that none of the U.S. government’s programs of the last 40 years really produced any significant results. We can however point to programs put in place by religious organizations, churches, and other independent non-profit agencies that have had impressive results and done a great deal of good for Americans, as well as individuals in other countries. In my opinion one of the best legacies that President George W. Bush will be remembered for were his faith-based initiatives to have private organizations taking on the overwhelming societal needs. year-with-peter-drucker

Social needs, according to Drucker, grow in two areas. First, in charity: helping the poor, disabled, helpless, and victims. Secondly, and probably a faster growing need is in respect to the services that aim at changing the community and at changing people (Maciariello, 2014). Every developed country needs an autonomous, self governing social sector of community organizations to provide the requisite community services, but above all to restore the bonds of community and a sense of active citizenship. Historically, community just happened by fate. We must now make a commitment to the development of the community. In 1939, Winston Churchill even commented prior to becoming Prime Minister of England in 1940 about Drucker’s forward thinking on the needs of society. Churchill said, “…he [Drucker] not only has a mind of his own, but has the gift of starting other minds along the stimulating line of thought.” Drucker knew that taking care of the social needs of our country was going to be important.

Right now there is a great deal of animus in America dealing with race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic differences, education, and even partisan politics. Some of these differences are constrained by social norms, but certainly not to the extent necessary. In education, as school curriculum continues to be aligned with standards and goals, pressure will grow for these goals to be aligned with the students’ strengths and societal needs. We must teach our students how to make changes in society peacefully and democratically. Thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, entrepreneurship, and creativity and the arts must align with the revolutionary changes in all cultures around the world. We live in a country and world of multiple cultures, made even smaller by instant communication and rapid transportation. If we manage our diversity well, it will enrich us. If we don’t, it will divide us. Meeting that challenge is up to each and all of us.

We must listen to the students we serve and give them a voice. Getting them engaged. Students will expect their voices to be her in decisions. As stated earlier, thinking, reasoning, problem solving, creativity, and communication skills coupled with ethical NationalHonorSocietybehavior, will be essential if we hope to have a future. We must take extra care to provide our young people with experiences that enable them to develop core values of ethical behavior and civic duty. I have witnessed and been involved with non-governmental organizations that do this quite well. One is the National Honor Society. My son is a member right now and certainly besides the promotion of high academic performance and achievement, he is also getting a taste of the importance of community service and why it is important to be involved in finding solutions for the needs of the community. I am also proud to have been a part of bringing the National Honor Society to Hoosier Academies. As a school leader, I understand the importance of these civic-minded experiences to our students. Drucker thcalled this developing “creaturehood” for the ordinary individual. Another incredible organization that gives students real world, in context, leadership experience in a societal setting is the Kiwanis Key Club. From their many enrichment and civic projects, Key Club members dedicate their energy to serving their communities in order to ensure the world will be a better place for future generations.

As adults and leaders we also have a responsibility to society and modeling our social service to our young people. We all have time, talents, treasures, and connections we can bring to the table in order to do our civic duty for society. I realize time is a precious commodity, but we must make KentuckyColonel_emblemtime to do those things in our communities, state and nation that are necessary to make the radical changes necessary to not be left behind. I have made a conscience effort to model this or “walk the talk,” so to speak. I have been involved at the local, state, and national levels for civic service whether in service organizations or politically. In 2010 I had the honor of being commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel because of my contributions in the realm of education in Kentucky. The commission of Kentucky colonel is the highest title of honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Commissions for Kentucky Colonels are given by the Governor and the Secretary of State to individuals in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to a community, state or the nation. Because I really believe in the mission of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels I have made a real commitment to provide time, talent, treasures, and connections. In fact, on May 16, 2015 I am going to be on an Honor Flight, sponsored by the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, serving as a Guardian while taking Veterans from Indiana and Kentucky to honor them. We will be flying out of Louisville, Kentucky to Washington, D.C. for them to be honored as Veterans and tour the Monuments of our foreign wars. 211Check out this inspirational video promotion of our Honor Flight. Click here to watch the video. I am very excited to have been selected to serve as a Guardian for this very important service to our Veterans. This is just one of the social services that the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels provides through our Good Works Program. If you are so moved and want to donate feel free to click here.

Our second president, John Adams, stated: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” I am a believer in the rights given to us of freedom of religion and the freedom of speech (in other words the right to hit “publish” when I complete this blog post). I also completely believe in our moral responsibility to give in service to the civic and social needs of our communities, state, and nation. The title of this post is “Love Thy Neighbor!” The inspiration comes from the the Bible in the book of Mark. It first comes up in the 31st verse, but then the most important lesson is given in the 41st through 44th verses: “Sitting across from the offering box, he [Jesus] was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins – a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, ‘The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the other gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford – she gave her all’ (The Message Bible).” Are you giving your all to make the world we live a better place now and for future generations?

I hope you have reflected on the essential question I started with: How can you make yourself useful and effective in helping to solve a social problem of our society? Now, I leave you with this question for a post-reflection: How can you leverage your social and religious involvements to increase your involvement in civic life?

Reference

Maciariello, J. A. (2014). A year with Peter Drucker: 52 weeks of coaching for leadership effectiveness. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

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