I’ve spent many days worrying about burning bridges. All good things come to an end is another important idea that I embrace. The reality is that In the last two years a ton of people chose to burn bridges to me and my cohort with their authoritarian behaviors, condemnation, and disregard of my and my fellow citizens agency. From speech, to firearms, to respect and even singing… and music making.
The wounds were frequent personal and sometimes vicious and even as I chose to suck It up buttercup, the indignant behaviors continued. I guess It wasn’t always malevolent intent. Often the outcomes were rooted in immaturity and pure incompetence. The results of those two realities are often identical.
So Many chose to embrace only their ways and treated me and mine with rank disrespect. Perhaps I’m just older and crotchety now. Maybe I’m wiser, maybe I’m foolish. The truth is… I’m not really interested in spending the time and energy required to rebuild most of those bridges.
Perhaps this is a character flaw. Perhaps it isn’t. There is a peace in personal liberty and morality. When I put aside what you think of my choices I am free to look to brighter choices, new bridges and spectacular new lands. I’m have some clarity now. More will come.
The fog will clear and it is my goal that those who chose to burn ties will find new ones elsewhere. Not sure mine can even be rebuilt. Grief cycle is real. Exploration is ways off but coming.
2020 changed everything for me and for all of us. I think I managed the survival mode pretty well but the psychological trauma was real. For those of us who worked in churches it was extreme. Wounds were willfully opened. They are and were deep and spread open for continuing salt and fire. The insidious nature of the fear disease still persists.
2021 has provided some reprieve from the constant antagonistic climate. I am personally experiencing a complex and prolonged grief cycle. There is no returning to normal, whatever that was. The future is filled with uncertainty. I am certain of the loss. I have faith in the future. The internal trauma response continues in me. I am not afraid. I am angry and judgmental more often than not. Both states are toxic.
I am grateful to see each day as it is. Arianna Huffington spoke on a Cisco meeting today and said “gratitude and anxiety can’t exist at the same time.”
I think that is right. We must choose gratitude and the anxiety will dissipate. Faith teaches me to thank God for every moment. Faith is the antidote and vaccine for fear.
What do you have faith in, specifically? Therein lies the root of our hope or our fear. I choose constantly. This is life. This is just me.
“Americans used to take pride in their work and the fact that they had a job. Now it seems they take pride in how much they can get without earning it.“
#foundonFB and spot on.
There has always been a mix. The cultural pendulum has swung way too far to the latter. All of the experts agree. Work. Make work your favorite. Build a life that doesn’t require a vacation. This concept it really hard for the entitled victimization crew out there. Personally, I think it starts with embracing every challenge and job as an opportunity to learn along with a context for relationships to others. When work is viewed as an unbearable burden we break.
Life is my work. Be. Love. Serve. Repeat.
Children and immature minds embrace emotion without reason. Adulting is hard.
When unreasonable emotionally driven people define the definition of reasonable without challenge, terrible consequences follow.
#idiotsincharge regularly couch unreasonable criticism within their moral certainty and utopian idealism. Real leadership defines terms and conditions and lays out logical positions for discussion and possible action.
Doing nothing is almost always an option. Just because you want something to change doesn’t mean it is necessary. Deciding if it the expectation and associated decision is reasonable restarts the whole adulting cycle.
A year ago, the federal government and state governments of the United States of America locked down the greatest country in the world. We the people were told that it was for our own food, for the greater good.
Stay at home, no church, no school, no hugs, no handshakes, no travel, no exercise, no choice. No preventative and normal medical care for anyone. Why? Covid.
The “experts” used faulty projections and models to terrify the population into submission instead of leading with authority. Media fueled the panic. Toilet paper disappeared. Supply chains were disrupted globally. Families disintegrated overnight. Singing in choirs was utterly destroyed overnight.
The TRUTH: none of the countermeasures delivered as promised. The epidemic and mortality curves of the lockdown leaders are equal or greater than the anti lockdown leaders. We live and we die. This was true before. It will always be true. The mortality rate of the human race is 100%.
What happened, whether intentional or not, was the further subjugation of people’s minds and ability to think for themselves. Our bodies fought the battles with Covid. Our minds chose to surrender to the “experts” opinions over our own because we were and are afraid.
We the people fell in line. We went along to get along. We dutifully put on our masks and stopped singing our songs of community and connection.
The medical crisis is ending now. Science has prevailed with vaccines and synthetic immunity. Those of us that had the actual disease either lived or died like every other disease. The infestation of fear and dependence on government has only begun. The consequences of THIS disease will be far worse over time. Write it down. Follow the science.
We the people need community. Masks are bad things both physically and mentally. Not singing in community is catastrophic. The one societal entity that could have fought successfully was the local church. Instead, it largely proved its insignificance and irrelevance and stayed on the sidelines like it has in so many global crises of the past.
God is working indeed. He is working individually in hearts and minds. Faith over fear is the answer. Once we accept the astounding authority of God and His power to overcome death, these earthly things become nothing. Governments rise and fall. Churches form and fail. My God is real and present in my day. I am not afraid. I am sorry for when I was afraid. I will strive to NEVER be afraid of death again. You should too.
Assigning blame and convicting a leader is a weekly reality in most churches. Punishment is death. This is how the majority of the world of “church politics” acts in response to a message of hope, plans of action, and accountability for results and better choices. This is a story we all know and relate to viscerally. Apologies and reconciliations are rare indeed but they are a foundation for healing.
Couple of weeks ago I was attacked by friends in public, in my church. It is true that I was to blame for many results over the past year. It is also true that I deserve credit for inspiring, desiring more, and delivering when most did nothing and continue to do exactly that even today.
My choice as a leader was to stay and fight on terms of men or withdraw and let God work in hearts and minds. I and family made a hard choice based on principles, plans, and hope for a future for everyone involved. The pain is still real. The grief is stifling. This is the life we are provided. Every day is an opportunity to be. Love. Serve. Repeat. Some years go better than others.
Results can’t be determined one day at a time but my decisions over time will show that I’m proud to say. Look at what I did when I stand for judgement.
What you do when someone says “I am not okay.” Says a lot about you.
Most people will never answer that way because they don’t trust. They expect judgement, condemnation, fixing, and controlling behaviors to follow such a personal admission. Fear is in charge.
What do they most often need?
Acceptance, attention, time... relationship and connection. LISTENING and Sitting/serving, maybe studying, eating or just silence.
Are you okay? Don’t ask the question if you aren’t prepared to put in the time, sacrificially, to love and serve.
The title of FAMILY comes with great privilege AND great responsibility. if you give away or minimize the responsibility and accountability you minimize the title and privilege.
That is a tragedy in most cases as we are made to be connected not isolated. Their is no real excuse for abandonment in any direction.
Obviously... Of course... everyone agrees... it’s common sense/common knowledge - All Based on character assumptions. Using those terms is a clearer pathway to judgement and condemnation than influence and reason.
Always and never contribute to escalation not resolution.
Friday thinking on FutureOfUS
If you don’t know what I think it is on you. from Vatenor on FB to VaTenor.com to this personal page. Even my sermons and videos on my Vimeo page are consistent. I walk my talk.
I am a rugged individualism champion and an artist and a lot of things that don’t fit into any box. The question is. Will you allow me to think what I think? And still keep me on your life? Lost a lot of “friends” (mostly just pseudo friend acquaintances) in last year and that is a shame but it was necessary.
My worldview allows for yours. My actions and decisions/actions are aligned and intellectually honest. As a principal I’m not always right... literally. As to principles... right is the way.
If you can’t tolerate principled conservativism and you choose to censor, lock down, despise and demean... and disconnect that is on you. I’ll grieve your loss in my world and respect your freedom to be as you are.
As a proud resident of Henry County (legacy of Patrick Henry) I repeat give me liberty or give me death.
Selfishness. Self centered. Never want to actually help. Too much of a hassle.
I will not continue to beg. It is toxic. God forbid that you should be inconvenienced to help someone else. Or that you might actually have to spend money or time solely for another's benefit. I see you.
I won't tell you what to do. I won't address "it" directly. I will simply set a different example through my actions and choices. Some will be to minimize my exposure.
Every day is an opportunity. Words and deeds both matter. Some good some bad. Honesty is best policy but sometimes it is best to just shut up.
When a “friend” says that you are not needed in their life because of your world views on liberty and life... listen to them and move on. Don’t stop loving them. You may even grieve their loss but do not allow their choices power over yours. Each of us will be held to account for our choices. In this world, tyranny of thought and idea divides, excludes, and destroys. The liberty way is the only way to include.
I’ve lost many friends recently and I grieve their loss but principles are more important than principals.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” —C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (1970)
I had a long discussion with a long time friend this am. We disagree about masking, and the scope of government in society. We may disagree on many other things, but we agree on enough, and we are committed to remain connected. When disagreement is allowed without morality assignment and character assassination, civility is possible and progress ensues. If the relationship matters, divergent ideas must be allowed. Judging your friend and denying their agency and rights is how things come apart and stay apart...
--- In the end, we get to remain friends, and vote our conscience. We choose where to live and how to live. THIS IS THE WAY.
To voluntarily show respect for another person is a powerful testimony. It is essential to civility and community.
To force respect may be an oxymoron. Compliance can be forced. Respect is earned. Choosing to show disrespect erodes all respect sadly.
When a parent, mentor, teacher or elder sacrifices the wellbeing of their child, family, and student for their own well-being a tragic betrayal occurs. It is a blasphemy to the natural and ordained order. The wound created is deep and persistent.
When society exercises this same power collectively terrible things transpire. Terrible terrible things.
#musing on the importance of family and responsibility and sacrifice for the future. Leaders lead by example at home first and foremost.
October 4 was my second 10 year anniversary with a major corporation. I began this IT career in the late 20th century as a project manager, desktop support engineer, network administrator, and finally a Lucent PBX and Videoconferencing engineer for smaller companies like Hoechst Celanese, AZ Photoresist and Clariant corporation... as a contractor and IT leader. As I learned to solve problems(both the real ones and the political ones), and lead teams, I progressed up the ladder as you might imagine. I feel lucky to still be working and contributing.. Blessed profoundly.
The 21st century has largely been a tales of two companies. Capital One and then Cisco Systems have each provided me fantastic opportunities to learn and contribute to their growth as I continued to grow. Two decades... and roughly 20,000 career hours later... I am focused on wildly different priorities from that Y2K project that put me on the map as a technologist, leader and success corporate citizen.
I have at least another 15-20 years of this IT and corporate leadership work ahead... The future of work is as certain and uncertain as it has ever been. It is filled with opportunity and unbelievable challenge mixing tools, processes and people above all. Collaborate, Create, Communicate, and Deliver at Scale over duration... That is the record. I feel like I'm in a groove now, and I plan to continue to push the envelope of expectations, making changes, innovating and getting stuff done and most say can't be done.
You choose whether you focus on what you can do... or what you can't do. Words have power. Are you so tired, so sore, or so sleepy... or are you focused on how you can be less tired, less sore... less sleepy. Be better. Don't seek affirmation for failing in others. Be inspired by achievements of others. Be more than you are. Choose what you tell yourself and others.
Consultant and Solutions Architect, Jeff Prillaman has been with Cisco Systems since 2010 focusing on collaboration, contact centers, remote work, and customer experience. His role within TTG CX (Technology Transformation Group Customer eXperience provides him with broad industry and enterprise customer exposure. Prior to his tenure at Cisco he was a Director and business information officer supporting all HR/CRE applications and IT for Capital One Financial.
During a decade of service, he experienced and managed through the 2008 great recession, all while focused on transforming the workplace and workspace as Capital One embraced the Future of Work. He works and volunteers extensively with small businesses, churches, and local non profits of all sizes in addition to his corporate experience, and lives in Martinsville, Henry County in the rolling ridges of Southwestern Virginia along with donkeys, chickens, dogs, family… and tons of technology and singing.
Distrust leads to disregard.
Disregard leads to disgust.
Disgust leads to demagoguery.
Demagoguery drives division.
Division codifies distrust.
Diversity complicates but it is the life blood of humanity and progress. Unity does not require uniformity.
Intersection of principles and practices...