You Can’t Push on a Rope
We’ve been examining what it means to live and lead courageously amidst a culture of cowardice that, from my perspective, has captured the Church in North America, leaving American society rudderless in a tsunami of sensuality, secularism, and self- centeredness.
Edwin Friedman informs our fifth concept: Don’t “push on the rope:” the unmotivated are invulnerable to insight.
I’ve done a little boating. One summer in Leland, Michigan, you might have seen me standing on a dock, tugging on a line, endeavoring to center the hull of our friends’ Boston Whaler over the submerged bunks of a small boatlift. Without thinking, I push my hand out, as if the boat will somehow move away from me.
It’s as if I’ve imagined that the rope has somehow stiffened so that it can propel the boat away from the dock and over the lift. Of course, it doesn’t. It can’t. You cannot provoke change by pushing on a rope.
-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage
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