Devout Partners

There is no shortage of examples of things working poorly. And, there is no shortage of opinions on how to do things differently. But, we cannot all be right, so we must find new ways to work together. More

Who Owns Success?

Hardly a day goes by when we don’t hear of something else not getting done in Washington. Congress puts off debating taxes and the Federal budget until after the election. Politics has completely replaced governance. Personal and Party interests have replaced the Public interest. There has to be a better way. And there is, if we have the courage to overcome our discomfort.

In the spring of 1961, after the Russians put a man in space and the disastrous U.S. invasion of the Bay of Pigs, President John Kennedy answered a question at a press conference with the now famous statement: “There’s an old saying that victory has 100 fathers and defeat is an orphan.” Kennedy was trying to avoid saying too much in public about these and other U.S. foreign policy failures during his first 100 days in office. Interestingly, the public reaction after these failures was to rally around the popular President, because they liked and trusted him.

Now, 50 years later, can you imagine President Obama, or any Congressman or Senator, saying: “Success has 1,000 parents and failure is an orphan” (allowing for inflation and political correctness), and then saying: “We should all share our successes”?

Why don’t we put the interests of our nation ahead of our personal or political interests or affiliations? Why don’t we build others up and cheer their good ideas (for surely “they” have some good ideas)? Why don’t we share success? What are we afraid of? What is so broken that we have forgotten that we are all in this together? When are we going to get out of our own way?

We can start with our own labels. What would the world look like if we all put our labels aside? Would we see each other differently? Would our leaders see people instead of labels? Would they resolve issues, instead of avoiding them? Imagine the possibilities…