Sunday, January 25, 2009

The ex-Communication of four Bishops who broke from the Church post-Vatican II has happened. What does this mean? It means there is now a place at a communion table to share in the body of Christ for men who broke their vows (a sacrament), for men who led people away from the church for decades and who (at least one of them), is an ardent denier of the Holocaust.

It is astounding to me that a woman who gets an abortion, a politician who refused to ban abortion, a couple who use contraception or a gay man in a relationship are kept from full Communion with the Church, but now, these men are not.

The Church is not losing relevance, it is slowly committing suicide.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

So I'm learning about office politics and leadership and people while over here (and yes, I realize those are strange things to learn about while at "war," but I'm removed from the war by a huge burm that makes everything on the other side seem as distant as home for the time being, so until then, dispatches from my desk...)

For example, there is a very low correlation between the amount of work one is perceived to do and the amount of work one does. There are those who look like all they do is work, work, work, and then you realize after a while how much they doddle about and check email and make small talk and waste hours at their desks...but it appears as though they're working. There are those who work before and after others work, and get a lot done, but the perception is, since they're there when no one else is, they're not working.

Another thing I've noticed is the startling ability of people to simply not do things. For example, if told, "find out x from Mr. x" they will simply send Mr. X an email and that's it. No follow through, no response, as though what you had told them was "send Mr. x an email." I wonder if things were like this before electronic communication. If, forty years ago, I had told someone, "find out x" would I get an answer a week later, "well, I yelled into his office...he hasn't said anything back yet."

Friday, January 02, 2009

The other day, I bumped into an old Companymate of mine. We were plebes together. He was shy and scared and quiet. He was someone that I rarely ever talked to much afterwards, and became good friends with another Companymate of mine, Charles, who I stayed with all four years.

He's now an Armor platoon leader who has been here almost a year. It was amazing...I hadn't seen him in six years and the difference life has made in him. It's strange, to see so clearly someone move from boy to man. But he was, for lack of a better term, a man now. Watching him talk to his soldiers and interact...make decisions and deal with Iraqis. He told me stories of his experiences so far and I sat in awe. Not so much at what he'd done, which most every officer has done, but at what he'd become. I couldn't help but know, if he hadn't have been with us those years, where would he be now?

I wonder if most people realize that the military is producing the kind of people it's producing, and if the country will capitalize on that in the future, of if the business world will snatch them all up for middle management for bottom line profits. I hope it's the former, but fear the latter.