Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The slope gets slipperier...

Ok, I get that we're nowhere near where the Romans and Greeks were on the debauchery meter. I also feel that we should learn something from our past. But where I've seen gay & lesbian rights travel in my lifetime is amazing.

First a disclaimer. I am never mean to anyone...and I'm serious, no one. My goal is to, through my behavior, treat everyone with the love of Christ, so that I might be salt and light to a lost world. And at times, this causes me internal angst or conflict...'cause inside I'm thinking hmmm...and on the outside I'm trying to show love.

So my Harvard Business Review came yesterday. It's a wonderful monthly magazing, that I happily pay $400/year for the subscription, to stay current with the latest business trends. Two of my favorite sections (which are both regular monthlies) are A Different Voice and HBR Case Study.

A Different Voice will interview someone who is not necessarily in business that can teach business principles. For example, my favorites of memory was Bill Parcell being interviewed about conducting turnarounds, and the Harvard University Chaplain discussing corporate responsibility and ethics.

The HBR Case Study takes an issue that businesses are dealing with and lays out in narrative the challenge, then usually asks four experts to weigh in with their opinion on how to handle the issue.

All of this narative sets up my point for today. The Case Study for December is about how businesses are dealing with Transgender employees. Fundamentally I'm perplexed from several fronts...
- The issue only called on three experts this time, and one of them a transexual that works for Boeing as an engineer.
- The three experts made references to generic "state laws" that protect gender/transgender discrimination issues...we were never made aware of which states and how many even have such laws on the books.
- The transgender "expert" mentioned that statistically, a company that employs 30,000 employees can expect 1 - 2 transgender shifts to take place each year...AND at Boeing its much greater than that because they've been so open to gender diversity.
- Virtually every case starts with a psychologist working with someone who hates being male or female and wants the other...I'd love to hear how "happy" (relatively) they are 5 year or 10 years later, before we call on society to change to meet the needs of 0.003 %.

Now, a brief moment for me to vent. Understand, this is a thought, it would rarely make it to my lips, and if it did, only with my closest of friends, who would know the thought was there anyway...

At what point did we quit calling these people "crazy"? The cynic in me truly believes that the psychologist, the hormone drug makers and peddlers, the plastic surgeons, and the remaining business, etc. to cater to roughly 9,000 Americans - all of whom are convinced by an even smaller select few that by completing these steps, they will no longer be sad, and they should not by any means feel "crazy" about wanting to be a different gender.

So now that that's out...what are your thoughts?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Doing life, with excellence...for the glory of God

Sirius has this Led Zeppelin channel. 24/7.

It's hard to argue with Led Zeppelin as the greatest rock and roll band ever. If you google search best drummer all time, best basist all time and best guitarist all time...you get No. 1, No. 3, and No. 9 respectively...no other band comes close...in fact, no other band has any two members in the Top 10.

I remember working construction one summer and the guy I was working with says..."you like the Stones, The Who, or Pink Floyd?" I said I like Zeppelin...he says..."everyone likes Zeppelin, but what about the other three, who's best?" Basically saying, the discussion was going to be over second place.

Even my 11 year old son recognizes excellence. He says, "Dad, I'm not sure I like it all, but that drummer is REALLY good."

Which led me to think, about a lot...

Almost all of the Top 10's are train wrecks personally...strung out on drugs, suicides, families a mess...you name it.

Could someone lead an abundant life in Christ, and pursue excellence in this venue? And, as a parent, would you even encourage it?

I mean seriously, your kid is the next John Bonham (who died at 32 after drinking 16 shots of vodka, leaving a wife and two kids behind)...would you encourage it? When you think through what it takes to be the very best "worldly" whatever (in this case Rock and Roll Drummer), you crash smack into arenas that compromise your convictions...just play out the reality...

So there lies the question...being in the world, but not of the world, is it too hard to do with excellence? Can you get worldly results as a lawyer, businessman, politician...rock star...without comprimising your convictions? Does God even care about whether you are the best lawyer or drummer? Should we care?

You see where I'm at...have at it.