A letter to Mr. Trump from an American citizen

America
Mr. Trump:

In one of your recent speeches you assured the American people that you were highly educated and that you know words, and that you have the best words.

It seems your favorite word is “I” – something that should give cause for concern to every American voter – but I wonder if you also know some more challenging words, words like nobility, dignity, truth, courage or freedom.

I ask because those words, and their meanings, are not evident in anything you say or do, which is a repeated slap in the face to the American people you are campaigning to serve… or maybe you don’t know the meaning of that word either.

Serve … it’s what presidents do. It’s what presidential leadership is all about. It’s what good leadership is all about.

But apparently that’s not what Trump leadership is all about. You have made it clear that your leadership will amount to “jump when I say jump,” and if that jump isn’t high enough there will be hell to pay.

I’m wondering how that will translate when you are in negotiations with prominent world leaders.

Then there’s the word great. You use it a lot, like when you said you’d be great for women. I can’t imagine that, based on so much of what you’ve said recently, so I would like to ask you a one-word question that you seem to have trouble answering: “How?”

How will you be great for women, and most importantly, how do you plan to make America great?

What does that very subjective word “great” mean to Donald Trump? It would be helpful if you would translate it for the rest of the American public.

You see, many of us already believe America to be great, most often when, through her laws, her leaders and her people, the virtues of nobility, dignity, truth, courage and freedom are woven into the fabric of her identity.

 The American people are deserving of such highly principled values. What you have presented during your campaign is a far cry from anything that resembles virtues or values.

You have assaulted the American people with your turgid rhetoric and cemented political discourse into the world of reality TV. In doing so, you have attempted to manipulate voters into supporting you without providing anything concrete to support.

In the words of an astute philosopher, “Rhetoric without reason, persuasion without argument is manipulation.”

If you really care about America, you will put your gargantuan ego aside and go back to the business world before our country becomes another failed attempt at success under the Trump brand, or worse, is destroyed completely by your political incompetence and infantile petulance.


Worst practices: Employee performance review delivered in a restaurant

One two separate occasions in the same restaurant, I sat in a booth behind two people during what was obviously a performance review of the employee. Restaurant coffee

The same person presented the review on each occasion, each time to a different person, so it seemed to me this was his common practice – but not a best practice.

On both occasions, I heard every word the supervisor said to his employee, both positive and negative. In the middle of the second review, I packed up my lunch and my laptop and moved to another table because I wasn’t comfortable being privy to such information, and I’m sure the employee  was  more comfortable not having strangers, or even worse, people she may have known, close at hand.

Performance reviews are personal and should include a candid review of year-long feedback, coaching to improve performance and a productive discussion between supervisor and employee, none of which should be done within earshot of others.  To enter into a performance review in a public location shows a disregard for the employee’s privacy.


Our behavior is the message we send about who we are

Outside the historic John B. Lindale House in Magnolia, Delaware, once the home to one of the last great peach barons in that state, stands a sign that Magnolia
reads: “This is Magnolia, the center of the universe around which the earth revolves.”  I could hear the outrage in the response of one of my dear, and funny, friends: "What? There can't be two centers of the universe, and I'm it! Who do I talk to about getting this sign corrected?"

She was being facetious, but there seems to be an outstanding number of people, given their behavior, who would argue Magnolia's claim.

One of them was in the bank drive-up lane today while I was there. Her loud carrying-on through the speaker, after the teller told her she had to come inside to complete a transaction, was an embarrassment for the tellers whom she degraded and an inconvenience for the half dozen drivers who chose the drive-up because it is quicker and more convenient. A bank manager was compelled to come out to her car and talk to her about the situation, while the rest of us waited ... and waited ... for her transaction to be completed.

It seemed this customer's motive was not just to have a problem fixed, but to make herself the center of attention. There was no sense of a "we" trying to correct a problem, but an "I" trying to prove she was right at the cost of embarrassing the "other" and inconveniencing everyone who was unlucky enough to come to the drive-through while she was there.

Thankfully, there are still people who realize that if we are to make a positive difference in the world, if we want to be people who reflect the extravagant love of God, then we need to remember that our behavior is the message we send to others about who we truly are.

Respect, civility, and simple courtesy are not weaknesses in character, but rather show a strength flowing from dignity and self-respect. When we begin to believe we are so important as to be the center of everyone else's universe, we fall short of the nobility that belongs to humanity.

 


Shine purple for prayer...for victory and peace

 As our leaders around the world look for answers and actions to defeat terrorism, most of us are left trying to live our daily lives in spite of our fears. Our safety and our Puplestainglassfutures are in the hands of others. But I am certain that we all want to feel as if we are doing our part to stem the tide of evil that manifests itself in terrorism.

 As you might expect, I am suggesting that we turn to pray for the answers, to thwart evil, to impart wisdom to our leaders and to continue to develop the communities of love that will be the “something bigger” our youth need so they do not look for belonging within the nest of terrorists.

 There are an estimated 173 million Christians in the United States alone, along with millions more who belong to one of the great religious traditions of the world – all of which affirm that life is sacred, something to be nurtured and protected, not destroyed.

 Together, people of all faiths, need to provide prayer support to our leaders, our military, our law enforcement members at home, and our communities in every part of the world … imagine more than 200 million people sending out prayers to cover the earth, every day.

 It’s the least…and the most…we can do. Join me in putting a light in the window - purple for prayer.

 

Prayer to Overcome Our Enemies

You are my king and my God,

who bestows victories on Jacob.

 Through you we batter our foes;

through your name we trample our adversaries.

 Not in my bow do I trust,

nor does my sword bring me victory.

 You have brought us victory over our enemies,

shamed those who hate us.

 In God we have boasted all the day long;

your name we will praise forever.

                                                    ~Psalm 44:5