I’ve written several pieces since my last post…none of them seemed necessary because either the message wasn’t new, or the message wouldn’t necessarily change anything (in my opinion). Some of the pieces I wrote about were misinformation and its effect on leadership (glaringly apparent already), the conundrum of the phrase “cancel culture” (those who need to understand don’t want to), obstruction and etc., etc., etc., (“King and I” reference). Then I suddenly realized, that, there are those in this world whose mission, goal, dogma is to sow seeds of chaos so profusely that confusion, lies, fear, polarization would keep any leader or group of leaders who would evolve us forward from doing so. Misinformation, cancel culture, and obstructions are simply mechanisms to accomplish that.
So how does one lead in the midst of chaos? With great difficulty, of course. As much as I could write about all the specifics…I tried to step into the shoes of one who is charged to lead through this mess, and as much as that is a near impossible task, I do listen, read and research other perspectives. There was a time early in my career, where I was the source of a vicious rumor that wasn’t true. I wanted to burn everything in my path because of righteous indignity. My father, a true source of wisdom simply said to me to hold my head high, keep working with truth, dedication and skill to the best of my ability and people would see the truth eventually…and they did, well most did, the others didn’t matter after awhile because I discovered it wasn’t about me, especially those that had the time to come to know me but still chose to believe lies. It was about the chaos those lies created and the energy it gives certain people I will call Lords of chaos. Seriously, there are those people in the world who thrive on watching people fail, for a whole host of reasons but the same result is limiting that person’s ability to bear good fruit.
After the whistle blower came forward from Facebook, the evidence they brought forward showed that the algorithms that perpetuated negative reactions were the most popular and profitable. So what does that have to say about us? Is it more exciting to throw stones and hate, than actually dialogue and face our problems and make changes together, or just decide to throw stones and point fingers and avoid personal responsibility, or remain comfortable in a narrative that only supports beliefs presently held and remain unchallenged? All of us have an important choice to make, regardless of any bias. Are the people we are listening to moving us forward to a better place, or are they simple lighting on fire and burning up any and all those whom we disagree with by negative means and prohibiting any accurate portrayal of who our leaders are because it is easier than making difficult changes?
It’s funny, there are those in religious communities (in America) who use scripture to perpetuate the Lord’s of chaos, by misrepresenting information whether it be about the pandemic, human identity, race, financial inequities, or religious freedoms all to serve one purpose: their own superior power and beliefs. They forget that the preamble of our Constitution supports that all people are created equal in the eyes of God, and Jesus, truly loved all people who lived according to simple truths: to love God with all your heart and mind, love your neighbor as yourself, and treat the least among you as if they were he. There were times when he was angry and spoke clearly about who he believed the Lords of chaos were in his time, and spoiler alert he is PISSED, from Matthew and Luke:
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’ Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’ You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. (But) these you should have done, without neglecting the others. Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’ Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; now fill up what your ancestors measured out! You serpents, you brood of vipers, how can you flee from the judgment of Gehenna?
But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
But woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now, for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way
You know what I also find curious? Jesus never condemned most of things the Lords of chaos condemn today, he condemned lies and hypocrisy, extreme wealth and those who lacked mercy. Even Jesus was a victim of the Lords of chaos and was condemned to die on lies. He simply held his head high, because he knew what his sacrifice would mean, and that after a time people would know him for the truth and not the lies that condemned him to death. We do have a right to demand the truth of those who would sow chaos over growth. Jesus said the truth will set you free, so why are so many people afraid to tell it? It’s because the Lords of chaos are experts at turning truth on its head and manipulating it to build anger and hatred. So lets decide not to buy into all that rage, anger and hatred. I would bet if every person out there decided that truth matters, that love supersedes hate, that anger and rage don’t move us forward, that connecting and truly seeing each other and sharing the good fruits we bring to the table will keep us moving forward, the Lords of chaos would lose their power over us.
When the Lords of chaos lose their power, the environment for true leadership prevails