Questionable Contracts

 Dr, Gary, Davis, Needinc, Clueless, Christianity, Christian, Contracts, Questionable, Compromised,             It was a lovely dinner at their favorite restaurant with appetizers, wine, a beautifully presented main course and a special dessert, prearranged with the chef by John. Following a lengthy explanation the nature of commitment proclaiming his deep love for her, and a declaration of intent-to-marry, Sam dropped to one knee, gazed into Susannah’s eyes, and said those four heart throbbing words— Will you marry me?

She, of course, said yes! They were engaged. Over the next few weeks they excitedly told family and friends about their intended path toward matrimony, choose invitations, booked a place for the wedding/reception, and groveled at their parents’ feet for the $50,000 to pay for it all. They had much to discuss. Do I hear $12,000?

One night after watching a movie together, John slipped in the idea of having a prenuptial agreement, to assure their commitment would always last. Susannah was less than enthusiastic.

To be sure, contracts are meant to protect both parties in case something goes wrong with their commitment to each other. In business, that’s wise. In marriage? It seems more like a guarantee of temporary bliss followed by eventual failure.

The sad thing is that too many contracts are designed with loop-holes that can be used to default on the commitment. We think— If things don’t go perfectly (read- the way I want them to), then I’ll just sneak out of this one. Be it in a marriage or a merger, if we don’t get everything we want— we end it.

There are many reasons these escape clauses are slipped into contracts. One of the main reasons is that, over centuries, people have come to learn that they cannot trust one another, in business or in marriage. “I have to protect my own self first.” If people were inherently good this would not be a problem of course; but history shows otherwise.

Thus do we compromise on our commitments. We find those loop-holes that we can slip through and so slip our way out of the spirit of the agreement, though not the letter of the contract. We renege on our commitments in relationships, in business, and in life in general; all to protect ourselves and then the other parties.

What would happen if we put the other person or company first? What if the contract or marriage vow assured blessing and safety for the other first? Could we possibly be hurt or betrayed? Of course. But we would also be on our way to changing this world.

Remaining honorable in commitments rules out subsequent confrontation later.  Win/Win is always the best option.

For what it’s worth,

Gary

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Finding the Entrance to Hell

Dr, Gary, Davis, Hell, Clueless, Christians, Dante, Divine, Comedy, Newark, Contrary to popular belief the entrance to hell is NOT Newark Airport; nor is it in a hidden parking lot at LAX; nor does the entrance to hell exit in Hinesville, GA Though these are all probable possibilities, their designations as such is not even close, even if closely feeling like it.

For a culture that increasingly does not believe in God or an afterlife there sure seems to be a lot of belief in angels and demons, and in a literal Devil. God was deleted from our interest list when He infringed on our personal preferences and pleasure. Bad God, bad God! That being said, it must be noted that Jesus is making a comeback in the movie industry. Good Jesus, good Jesus. At least someone is making money

We do not like to think about the possibility of hell existing as our soul’s final resting place. We are not even sure how to describe hell, if it actually exists. For help, I point you to Dante Alighieri’s (1265-1321) Divina Commedia, the medieval worldview’s allegory of the afterlife. (Read it in English.) Some of us are deeply concerned about not going there. WE construct rules and practices to obey so that we DO NOT go there: most of us merely toss the idea aside as antiquated imagination. Thus do we play with it in the media. Hummm.

However, allow me to suggest that, though few of us are actively looking for the entrance to hell, unless you are already at Newark Airport, we certainly try to live like hell. Don’t believe me? Here’s my list on whether or not you are seeking, or heading to, hell.

1.      You put yourself and your interests first—all the time.

2.      You ignore the advice and/or criticism of people who really know you.

3.      You live by your own standards; circumstances, or the needs of others, be damned.

4.      You don’t give a rip about our world’s poor or needy.

5.      You don’t listen: your opinion or agenda are all that matter.

6.      You are stingy, tight-fisted and penny-pinching.

7.      You are kind to others only if there is something in it for you.

8.      You talk a good game, but do little to back up your words with action (ATNA).

9.      You never, never ever sacrifice.

10.  You rarely feel anything. It’s safer that way.

If any of these descriptions define you, you are well on your way to finding the entrance to hell.

 

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

Beyond being in control

Gary, Davis, Control, Needinc, Clueless, Christians, Let it go, letting goStaying in control is probably the #1 value of most people in Western Society. Being out of control is scary; it is always lurking just below the surface of our consciousness. Personal security, personal independence, and personal significance are our TOP priorities (after food and shelter.) We have this innate fear of being out-of-control.

Some people take it too far; becoming micro-managers at work and a home. They must be hands-on and on-top of everything. If this attitude becomes embedded in a person’s psyche it creates issues of trust and insecurity. Even close friends do not want to be around them. Sometimes, it causes people to hide their true selves from those outside and to cocoon within a private world of fantasy or fear. This is not good for the soul.

However, there is another path to be taken for those who draw their strength and define their identity from somewhere beyond this present realm. It is for those who have decided that being in-control isn’t as safe and secure as they once thought. It is for those who are tired of working so feverishly to have power over everything around them. It is for those who are ready to let go.

Moving beyond being in control is frightening and terrifying. It means that you are consciously removing yourself from the button, the control switch, from being the central figure around whom all others must revolve. You must become such a person who will put your faith, your trust, in others, and, quite frankly, in God.

Why is it that we rise to our point of success in life, only to find a ceiling of doubt and emptiness at the top? The reason is that we were not meant to climb this ladder in isolation, as individuals; we were designed to do it in relationships: first, in relationships with those around us, and second, in relationship with the God who made us. This is not rocket-surgery; it is an obvious observance.

We must move beyond being in control to trust, to delegation, both of responsibility and authority, and to letting go. [Listen— Paul Cardall. Letting Go. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUONnfHb7a8 ]. It is in letting go of control that we lose our tightness, our fears, our need for dominance, and put on the cloak of grace.

If you truly want to lead, then you must move beyond being in control and learn to let go.

 

For what it’s worth,

  Gary