A story….

Today I heard a story that was meant to be related to corporate culture.  I think it has another application, which I will get to.  But first, a story….

A family in the panhandle of Oklahoma was getting ready for church one spring morning.   The mother and father had gotten all ready to go, but they were having trouble rounding up their boys.  It was a splendid spring morning, and after a harsh winter the boys were enjoying playing.  Thinking that it might not hurt to give them a little lead, the parents decided the boys would skip church and stay home with an uncle.

So the parents loaded up the carriage and headed off to the chapel, leaving the boys playing on the farm.  After they had played for awhile, the uncle came out on the front porch with a piece of chalk, and asked them “You wanna see a neat trick?”  Being boys, they were all too happy and eager.  So the uncle drew a line on the porch and said, “Let me show you how to mesmerize a chicken.” and sent the boys running to the coop to find a hen.

When they returned, he grabbed the chicken from them, placed it on the ground where its feet straddled the line, and then with his hand he pushed the chickens head down until it beak was touching the chalk line.  Once in this position the chicken froze and stood like a statue with its beak stuck to the white chalk line.

This amused the boys to no end, and each of them darted off to grab their own chickens, so they could do their own trick.  In short order the boys ran back and forth from the coop to the porch, placing chickens in the same silly position.  Soon enough, they had emptied the hen house, and had about 70 chickens standing motionless on their front porch.

Shortly, while the boys were laughing at their feat, they heard the horses hooves and squeaking wheels of their parents carriage, returning from church.  This fueled their excitement, just KNOWING that mom and dad would think that this was a total hoot.  And, to be honest, mom and dad DID take a small, perverse bit of humor from seeing the site.  However, what the boys didn’t know was that the pastor was coming home with mom and dad.

When the carriage stopped, dad jumped up and ran to the house cursing.  Of course, the embarassment of the pastor knowing that the boys weren’t sick would just literally kill him.  So he began place kicking the chickens off the porch.  Once removed from the line, they were able to animate again, and they were running and clucking around the yard.  Feather flying, dads foot swinging repeatedly….it surely was a site.  However the pastor was so insulted by the event he just turned his carriage around and went home without ever stopping.

While not an exact retelling, it gets the primary point, being that in an organization you can become so focused on the line that you become completely unable to move.  You become restricted by the “corporate” line (ie, company culture) that you forget what it means to actually work (ie the reason behind the culture).  You become so focused on facts that you are unable to remember why those facts mattered in the first place.

This is a good lesson for American’s to learn.  Our nation has become taken over by a the Military Industrial Complex.  And the American people are conditioned to believe that “War is good”.   And, like chickens, we put our beaks on that white line and do not move it.

In so doing, we completely forget what it was that made us American’s in the first place.  The ideals that were at the heart of what created our country.  Instead, we now just keep our beak down on the line of “Patriotism”, never thinking exactly what that word means.

To be a Patriot in America, you cannot allow yourself to divorce abject freedom and liberty from the daily American experience.  And by its very nature our current mindset of war and acceptance of militarized police units in our cities attempts to effect this divorcing of our core ideals from our daily experience.

This election cycle I urge each of you to take your beak up away from the line.  Free yourself from a mindset and search out what it really means to be American.  Do not allow your mindset to be created by a news program.  Instead, create it yourself.  Go out and discover what it means to be an American, not by following a culture.  But rather by experiencing it yourself.


2 Responses to “A story….”

  1. Good post

    • I have what i consider a “gift”. I see just about everything as a metaphor for something else. Everything is a metaphor for something else. Because of this, i tend to think in concepts, mostly abstract, rather than concrete. Details can be formulated as the need demands because anything can be made into a metaphor.

      This can be good, because it makes so many things into “teachable moments” (to use a term from our fearless leader). You can gain insights into current problems by seeing the metaphors for your situation in the world around you.

      The problem this creates is that you can be bombarded with so many “lessons” that you cannot efficiently retain them all.

      That is why i am on so many forums, and why i started this blog. I need a place to put the things that I find important so that when i forget that it is something I have already realized, i can reference back to it and remember.

      I have mentioned on a forum that I often will go back and read something i typed out, and have absolutely no recollection of. But it seems insightful to me, surprisingly insightful for something i would have forgotten.

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