It get it. Things change too much. Some change feels like your wallet and keys have gone missing. It’s a simple equation: change = frustration. But listen up people: sometimes change is necessary for the sake of somebody else.
Pity the fool who sees the need for change. He wakes up every day with the knowledge of the need and the looming push-back by “the guardians of the rubble.” He knows what must be added, deleted or even (wait for it…) ALTERED. That’s the one we (royal we) really don’t like. Even if something is terribly broken, at least it’s our broken thing.
Here are four top reasons people circle the wagons around “the way we were.”
1) The Good ‘Ol Days
When you ask people their ideas how to get something done, they may refer back to, “The good ol’ days” when they thought things were working well. The methods of that period get elevated as the reason things went well. Those who were successful in the last paradigm have most trouble with the next.
2) We tried that
This excuse seems legit to the speaker. He can show you his scars and considers it sound research. He was there and watched things come tumbling down. It’s amazing how one failed attempt can inoculate us against taking future risks.
3) We’ve never done it that way before
Leith Anderson calls these “The seven last words of a dying company or church.” Ironically, this one is the mirror image of #2. But instead of fear driving, pride is the motivator. It presumes that “we’ve arrived.” Picture the two old gents in the balcony on the Muppet Show.
4) What’s in it for me?
“Where will I be after were done? No longer in charge? No thanks.” People feel threatened. It usually wells-up between the time they open their eyes in the morning and the moment they nod off at night–and twice on Mondays.
We’re ALL prone to guard whatever norm that makes us comfy.
What’s your excuse? Seriously–what other excuses do you hear to keep things status quo?
George Davenport says
Merry Christmas, Tim,
Your class Sunday made me think about some things that you might be interested in considering. I suspect I come from a different theological perspective than most of the class and this makes it a bit more difficult for me to share my responses to the stimuli that I hear.
On the other hand, decades of exposure to a broad range of relational activities have made me more than a little conscious of what seems to help me the most with others.
While it is true that our stories may help communicate the truths we rely on, and are a good way to illustrate these truths, I have come to believe that the best way to communicate with someone else is to take a strong interest in their story; to genuinely seek to understand how they have become who they are. Seeking to understand someone else is a powerful teaching method, and not one that most men make use of.
Most often, us males are so busy seeking to articulate our agenda, which most of us hypothesize is our version of truth, that we fail to consider what the other person might want, need or whatever. I’m not male-bashing, but I am describing what I experience from the vast majority of males; the younger the worse afflicted!
My thought is this simple; before I want to transfer my version of the “truth”, Biblical-based or any other truth, I will make more headway if I take a real interest in the other persons story first. If I don’t really know the other person, how can I legitimately expect to be heard? My underlying belief is that a persons story not only describes who they are; it describes how they became who they are.
If I felt called to communicate Christian truth, and I’m not sure I do, this is the method I would apply. Demonstrating that I genuinely care about the other person would be an essential first step, and it takes time and energy to do this. Asking them to tell me their story is an integral part of communicating that I care; far more than telling them my story.
Tim Filston says
Agree whole-heartedly, George.
I think in any human discourse, one must earn the right to be heard.
As they saying goes: “They won’t care what you know till they know
that you care.”