Monthly Archives: June 2017

How Transformation Lasts, A New World for Congress and all of us

How Transformation Lasts 6-16-17


Making it last or letting it go and then starting over


In regards to the opening to love present in Congress after the shooting at the baseball field in the park where Republican Congresspeople and staff were practicing for their game against the Democrats.


At the Capitol and at the White House, there was a somber mood, preceded by shock, then condolences and love and a commitment to harmony and affinity in the midst of disagreement about policy.


Compromise and coming to decisions for our country is the job of leadership.


At first, I was thinking I could write about making it last, but transformation is not a thing that lasts like an object and even objects rust and decay or break and are thrown in the trash.


This could be written in regards to a marriage crisis that results in a sacred commitment to increased expressions of love and appreciation. Yet does that last?


“How Transformation Lasts” is that it doesn’t just like everything else, objects, political parties in the majority, good moods, marital bliss all don’t last.


How Transformation Exists over time and over and over is that you keep creating it. You create it in conversations for a new human being, a new relationship, making new vows and promises.


You create it and recreate it. You apologize for where you fell and will fall again short of you commitment for what kind of human being you want to be.


A lot like AA where the slogan for sobriety is “one day at a time.” My friend with 35 years of sobriety has 12,775 days at a time.


That is how transformation exists over time. Working it out, reinventing it everyday.


The “being” part of leadership, the character of a leader is where we keep working.


Starting with the phenomenon of blame and excuses and rationalizations. “It is this way because of those other people.” “or because of something outside my control.” “I didn’t do it, they did.” “Barrack divided this country.” “Trump raises the violent rhetoric.”


I heard all of these statements in the last few days.


But very little. Mostly I heard let’s work together. This is either nobody’s fault, or all of our fault.


We are the leaders we have been waiting for.


If Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi called us today and said, “Will you help us have and sustain a transformation?” What would we do? Where would we begin?


Ask David Brooks to be our journalist, documenting the process.


Ask to meet with Fox News and MSNBC to engage their leaders in the possibility of this project and the newspapers too.


Have people sign up to participate and be the ones, even devote their careers to this transformation. Create mindfulness practices. Create listening practices. Create practices for “truth and reconciliation” and deep apology. Have gratitude practices. Begin and end each meeting with expressions of gratitude for each other’s service.


Create vows for partnership and having each other’s back and for having respect. Develop the skill to disagree and respect at the same time.


Bring Church leaders, Muslim leaders, Jewish leaders together to pray and preach and ask their congregations to get engaged in this transformation in their own lives and at the dinner table where they gossip about the other side and how wrong they are.


Bring Corporate CEOs to the table to do the same.


There is no reason this discord should be other than maybe it is the nature and cycle of humanity. Rome fell and we can too.


Maybe this is a repeat of history and a natural phenomenon.


Or maybe this is an opportunity to invent or create what has never happened. Create a world based on love. Take lessons from Bhutan on building our Gross National Happiness.





From Yahoo Answers

Rome did not “fall” so much as it broke up from within, not quite the same thing. The empire had been divided east and west since the end of the 3rd century; in the 5th century, it was the western empire (which included Rome) that broke up, with the last emperor deposed and not replaced in 476 AD. The eastern empire carried on through many ups and downs for another thousand years until it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453 AD (we often call it the “Byzantine” empire since it didn’t control Rome, but it was still the east Roman Empire).

The reason for the breakup was that powerful factions within its military struggled with each other until the central government could not maintain control and finally became irrelevant. The last emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was the teenaged son of a Roman warlord named Orestes, put on the throne as a puppet by his father. Orestes was killed in 476 AD by his rival Odoacer and Romulus deposed, but Odoacer would neither appoint a new emperor himself nor accept the candidate the eastern emperor wanted. In the resulting stalemate, the various warlords in different parts of Roman territory just carried on governing their various territories, and the Roman Empire insensibly evaporated into the kingdoms of medieval Europe. Fifty years or more went by before the writers of our sources even seem to have realized what they lived in wasn’t the Roman Empire any more.

“Barbarian invasions” are a red herring (as are even sillier theories that try to pin it on lead poisoning or Christianity). Many of the kingdoms to emerge on former Roman land were ruled by dynasties of “barbarians,” but these had not come there as invaders. Their rulers were federates, people who had immigrated into the empire under treaty and become a part of the late empire’s military system. The federate leaders tended to win out over conventional Roman generals in the power vacuum after 476, probably because they had more reliable support from their own ethnicities’ warriors and could win over Roman provincials as well. But they were already part of the Roman system, playing the game of Roman politics by Roman rules.

As far as how it influenced the development of the Middle Ages; literacy doubtless declined, as did cities, because there was no longer the far-flung bureaucracy needed to organize the raising of troops and taxes from far-flung imperial provinces, and therefore no jobs for literate people. Only the Christian churches still needed literate priests and preserved ancient learning, so it became the main bearer of culture and the mediator between military rulers and their subjects. The landowning that defined Roman nobility merged with the military profession of the new regional rulers to define a warrior aristocracy that would dominate medieval society. Finally, the circumstances of the breakup meant that the new ruling class never saw itself as the conquerors or destroyers of Rome – since they weren’t – but as what they really were, the heirs of Rome, and therefore spent the whole of the Middle Ages trying to preserve and restore the glamor of Roman civilization.