What in the World Are We Fighting For?
The march in Chicago where military awards were thrown away is a powerful statement that comes to haunt us, yet again.
However real the problems of the world may be, a negative problem-focused solution is not the most desirable basis for decisions and actions. So say many of the soldiers who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan to march and throw their medals to the ground.
The great achievements of technology and democracy did not come through addressing merely the negative conditions of the world. They came from advancing a vision of a better way to be, and a better world.
Watching the soldiers who returned brought back so many of the tortured words from the Vietnam era and the question “What in the world are we fighting for?”
While the war veterans are demanding meaning to what they accomplished at a great price, business is also percolating with groups asking the same types of questions about the price of success.
In Total Leadership Connections, a program offered by Creative Energy Options that is now in its 11th year, the theme is to look at the behavior patterns that have gotten locked in our responses from family, culture, and crises. It stresses that we need to “stand on the shoulders of the past” rather than repeat it.
Modern society is, once again, at a crossroads. Do we continue old, ingrained patterns where there were only winners and losers or do we all take a stand and promote integrity, creativity, trust, and cooperation beyond the vicious competition, manipulation, and destruction of “my way or no way?”
This question belongs in all of our institutions. Business and the military have lots in common. Business may meet the same fate from society in general if the patterns from the past are not examined more effectively.
Those who marched need to be acknowledged for their bravery, both in battle and in coming back from battle to say loudly and to the world, “There has to be a better way”.
Maybe this time we will listen and respond to the vision of “we are all in it together and no one wins unless we all do”, a rallying cry for this century of transformation.