July 30, 2008
Control of self helps society
This past week was another "wake-up" call. Seems medical checkups reveal how well I am adhering to diet, exercise and rest. My tendency is to offer lame excuses for falling short of what was recommended. Blood tests enabled my concerned physician to give me that "look" that reminds me of being caught with my hand in the cookie jar. Each passing year makes the follow-through more important and more challenging. The alternative, it seems, is to find an earlier grave. So, for me it is time to self-regulate - and that is what started me thinking.
The issue of self-discipline, including self-regulation, is as personal as individual application and as extensive as our contemporary culture that frequently appears "out of control." Across the spectrum, deterioration is apparent regarding language-degradation (both foul and sloppy), socially-acceptable behaviors, business practices, the public trust, responsibilities of role models, what we allow to go over the airwaves into homes, and the conduct of political campaigns, including those for the presidency. Responsible self-control is needed, now.
The good news is that we are not the first generation to lose direction. The Bible mentions social chaos in the book of Judges, Chapter 16; Verse 6: "In those days there was no king; and the people did what was right in their own eyes." Thousands of years ago, human beings were self-centered and selfish. Way back then, folks liked being the law to themselves. Unfortunately, at the extreme, which may be where we are today, nationally and globally, anarchy follows pretty closely, with the potential for creating an even more devastating mess.
Very early in the development of our executive leadership practice, through Dimension Five Consultants Inc., and the Bracher Center, www.brachercenter.com we concluded: "It should be common knowledge that free markets (including individuals and social institutions) must regulate themselves, or governments will."
We recognized that for our consulting practice to deliver high-speed, accurate and effective leadership counsel; that our clients had to be willing, even eager, to take the first step. They had to accept responsibility for their circumstances, for better or worse.
After all who was responsible for my not paying sufficient attention to diet, exercise and rest, per my physician's recommendations? Me!
Recently, public figures have again used despicable language to describe both their colleagues and adversaries. Libel and slander are legal issues which courts can handle. However, any reluctance to "self-regulate" behavior is going to create openings for invasive, even if well-meaning, law-makers. We elect lawmakers to make laws. To avoid more "behavior-constraining" restrictions, let's practice graciousness - personally and professionally. Young lives are shaped by what they see and hear from us. Integrity-centered living requires self-regulation: socially, culturally, economically and politically.