Warning, be on the look-out for one of the most destructive problems to infect an organization. It is more insidious than a common computer virus spawned in some 14 year olds bedroom and even more malicious than a Trojan from Nigeria. This destructive and contagious virus has been the downfall of many well intended projects. It has been the cause of entire church congregations to splinter and divide. We all know of instances where whole families have been torn apart by this seed of evil.
We need to learn to identify and eradicate this malignant malady before it infects the entire system.
What is the problem? In short, Envy, Enmity, Ego. The BIG I, little you. We know best and you are a threat.
"Everything is destroyed by its own particular vice: the destructive power resides within. Rust destroys iron, moths destroy clothes, the worm eats away the wood; but greatest of all evils is envy, impious habitant of corrupt souls, which ever was, is, and shall be a consuming disease." -- Menander (342 BC-292 BC)
Symptoms and warning signs.
• Jealousy and enmity over the success of others. Some early warning signs are sarcastic remarks (side-ways anger) about someone's performance or position.
• Gossip and back-biting. Repeating hear-say stories that are unflattering or negative.
When we sow seeds of discontent or focus on our differences and not on the things that unite and join us we seriously undermine our primary purpose. When we allow personalities to become more important than our principles we are headed for disastrous consequences. We must always be mindful to keep principles before personalities.
• Avoid Toxic people. Anyone that is always complaining or seldom has anything nice to say about their fellows.
• Avoid Rats. One of the most virulent strains of toxic people, the gossip. Shun anyone who has a tale to tell about a mutual acquaintance that they don't like.
• Evaluate information. Is it True? Is it Good? Is it Beautiful?
• Monitor own behavior. This is the hard one. Frequently take a moral inventory and ask yourself a few simple questions; Am I part of the solution or part of the problem? If people knew what I was thinking, would it be helpful or harmful? When was the last time I offered words of encouragement to an associate.
• Resist the temptation to argue your opinions against someone's ideology. Stay focused on facts. It's hard to argue with facts and the left will just resort to name calling and do you really want that?
• Focus on what you love. Love attracts while Hate repels.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "We may not have come on the same boat, but we are all in the same boat now."
OH, how we wish that we could boast of never being guilty of passing on this dread virus, but I fear that most of us have been guilty far oftener that I care to admit. We must remain always on the alert, and remember, when we have a finger to point at others, that three are pointing back. If we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem.