Last fall we took an African Safari. Prior to leaving, several friends, raved about their safari experiences, claiming that it was their most epic vacation, and numero uno on a list of several destinations.
When I asked why… One friend said it was because of the animals.
Interesting. I LOVE animals, but I’ve been to the zoo and and wildlife parks. How could simply being in Africa create an epic vacation?
As many of you know, I’m living in a part of the world where many freedoms that I once took for granted – don’t exist. -Now don’t get me wrong I agreed to move here, to seek first to understand and to learn. So I’m not complaining. …But I absolutely must share what I’m learning.
Have you ever considered that…
- In countries where sharing research and opinions puts liberty and lives at risk – citizens are being taught that it is safer not to think
- In countries that allow freedom of speech, traditional journalists have done so much of the work for citizens – that we’ve allowed ourselves to become lazy thinkers
- Dialogue is a way for us to seek truth, gain new perspectives, build relationships, and solve problems
- Dialogue is also a freedom that many take for granted
The pending election in my home country is stirring up a lot of drama, a steady stream of propaganda, bullying, manipulation and lies.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine shared this thought, “Look at your right to vote as a golden opportunity to help hire the right person…” LPS
He’s got a point. Our election is not a political issue. It is a leadership issue. …And we get to make the hiring decision!
The person we “hire” will impact our workplaces, our families, our healthcare, our education, our security, how we practice our faith, how we treat each other, how well we relate to and serve other nations, and our future.
Their character matters! The culture of our nation will be shaped by the worst behavior we are willing to tolerate from the person we grant this title to.
Several years ago I was in a role that was getting busier and busier. As the demands and distractions poured in I began to feel less energized and lose my focus.
And as my focus shifted, so did the focus of the entire team that I supported. With no corporate retreats in our future we needed to figure out how to refocus and recharge.
1. Create an EXPERIENCE:
- I brought some tiny matchbox cars to a meeting and asked everyone to take a car and personalize it.
- Then I gave them a bunch of foot-long crepe paper streamers and asked them to use a streamer to list one thing that was causing them to lose focus. (And they could use as many streamers as they needed to.)
- There were so many that the streamers quickly covered the cars and we talked about how hard it is to drive forward when you feel so covered up that can’t see the people you are working with, let alone where you are going.
- Then I brought out a rocket. (The kind you buy in a toystore that you can actually launch.) The rocket was “beautifully decorated” with each of our objectives, and we talked about how looking up and focusing on where we were going could help us prioritize the demands and distractions, decrease our confusion and stress and increase our focus and results.
And yes – when we achieved all of our objectives we drove to a field and shot off that rocket!
I published this post this summer just before the U.S.A. celebrated Independence Day!
- I am republishing now because January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Human Trafficking is modern-day slavery and it is the fastest growing crime in the world.
- And January is also the month that we honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr. for all of the work he did to bring freedom to others.
As a U.S. Citizen, I grew up being very proud of:
- My country – where people came to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
- My family – who left everything behind in their countries of origin because of oppression and poverty and came to the U.S. to pursue those ideals.
And even prouder of: My relatives and friends that served to defend the freedom of others.
Moving to the big sandbox we live in now took lots of prayer and courage because many of the freedoms I always cherished don’t exist here. …But we came believing that we were supposed to seek to understand and to learn.
We weren’t here very long when a neighbor challenged me to consider that Americans don’t have a corner on the market on freedom. I accepted her challenge and have been listening and experiencing for a little more than two years. And although we don’t have it all figured out yet, this is a bit of what we are learning…