By Lavern Nissley
Before Abraham Lincoln became President in 1861 he gave a memorable speech that came to be known as "House Divided". It was essentially a no compromise speech attacking the possibility of a half slave, half free United States. "A house divided against itself cannot stand", Lincoln proclaimed as he quoted Jesus' words centuries earlier.
In the aftermath of two horrible mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton polarization and escalation have increased between left and right. I wonder what President Lincoln would say about today's political landscape. Certainly there are issues that divide Americans at a level that slavery did in the 1800's. (See optional extra reading at end of blog for more texture on this.)
By Lavern Nissley
The "Send her back" chant that erupted at President Trump's rally in North Carolina last week touched nerves everywhere. It singled out a congresswoman from Minnesota, an immigrant from Somalia and US citizen. Her views have been particularly troubling to conservatives as well as to some colleagues in her own party.
The ping pong match of acerbic tweets and public comments between Trump and "The Squad" of four congresswomen (close allies of the chant target) seemed to boil over into newscasts, social media discussions and private conversations. Maybe that's why we had such hot weather in most of the USA last week?
What can we learn from such intense political polarization and flame-throwing that could help us in our couple, family and organizational relationships?
By Jeremy Hudson, guest blogger
Jeremy is campus pastor of Fellowship Spring Hill in Springfield OH and CEO/Founder/Owner at Red Chair Leadership
“Jeremy, asking questions makes you look smart!”
I can hear those words ringing in my ears like they were said yesterday, not the twenty years ago when my dad said them to me.
He was gently yet firmly challenging a blindspot that was cropping up in my leadership abilities. I was under the impression that to be the leader on a team or in an organization meant you had knew better than everyone else what needed to be done and how. At that point in my youth, I was carrying myself like I was the smartest guy in any room I walked into. When presented with a problem, the absolute worst thing I could imagine saying in response was “I don’t know.” So, instead of digging into and learning about what was going on, I would make something up. Even if it was wrong. Because leaders are supposed to know things. After all, that was why you are the leader, right?
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.