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Darkness Will Not Stop Me

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Greetings from all of your friends at Priority Learning.  As the year ahead starts to come into focus some disturbing trends lurk in all of our minds.  For instance, if it has eluded you that this in an election year well, let’s just say, hope you have enjoyed your trip to Jupiter. The tone of debate and lack of productive discourse seem to be at an all-time high, and let’s not forget congress and the madness there.  Then, I was reading the Sunday, February 21st insight section in the Maine Sunday Telegram.  Here are just a few of the enlightening details in the article:

From the Southern Poverty Law Center


The increase in hate groups was not even across extremist sectors. The hardest core sectors of the white supremacist movement—white nationalists, neo-Nazis and racist skinheads—actually declined somewhat, a reflection, perhaps, that hate in the mainstream had absorbed some of the hate on the fringes But there were significant increases in Klan as well as black separatist groups.

Klan chapters grew from 72 in 2014 to 190 last year, invigorated by the 364 pro-Confederate battle flag rallies that took place after South Carolina took down the battle flag from its Capitol grounds following the June massacre of nine black churchgoers by a white supremacist flag enthusiast in Charleston, S.C. Rallies in favor of the battle flag were held in 26 states — concentrated, but by no means limited to the South — and reflected widespread white anger that the tide in the country was turning against them.

On the opposite end of the political spectrum, black separatist hate groups also grew, going from 113 chapters in 2014 to 180 last year. The growth was fueled largely by the explosion of anger fostered by highly publicized incidents of police shootings of black men. 

Hate to bring you bad news, but desperately hope you are paying attention.  We can all feel the unrest, dissatisfaction and disassociation and it seems to be a topic everyone wants to talk about.  There is however an unwritten moral to the story if we choose to write it.   

Edmund Burke said it best, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” 

Burke passed away in 1797 and I’m sure we will forgive Sir Edmund his gender insensitivity.  However, the point is not lost.  The incivility needs to end or it may end us and “good men” and women need to do something. 

I can hear some of you saying, “What could I possibly do to write a positive ending to THIS story.”  Maybe the better question is, what if we choose to do nothing? 

Flashback - At the time of the American Revolution there were large chunks of the population who were asking the same questions.  At that time many decided that they could, or would, do nothing and by doing nothing forfeited the right to determine the future of the country they lived in.  What would transpire between the years 1775 and 1800 would be completely out of their hands.  In essence, they would live with whatever future others determined for them.  A few stood and through their leadership created a country and a future for all of us.  Our country. I bet you were all waiting for me to put in something historic.

So, while I step off my podium for a moment and stop making patriotic noise maybe I should remind us all of our responsibility.  In several of our programs at Priority Learning we like to give the aspiring leaders the primer to great ‘fool proof’ leadership.  It goes something like this: When things go bad take the blame, when things go right, give away the credit and every day in every way own everything.  I’m not sure it was ever more true, needed or desired.

What to do? 

Next month, I will give you my thoughts on what leaders can and should do but for now it is your turn to tell me what you think.  We have a role and we don’t need a position or title to complete our role.  We simple need to help people who are looking for answers in the darkness. 

Please give me your advice and I will include it next month.  It is my intention to begin this dialog in a modest effort to provide solutions in a world preoccupied with people pointing fingers and working hard at minimizing human value. 

I will not stop until we find a better way. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” 

Warmest regards,

3.67 (3)


Ralph Twombly
Priority Learning

In the 20 years since starting Priority Learning, Ralph has facilitated countless learning experiences and has conducted training for thousands of managers and leaders. With over 30 years of leadership development and organizational development background and work, Ralph continues to build relationships with client companies all over the U.S.



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The overwhelming sense of entitlement in our society is a direct result of people lacking personal and professional accountability. You get out of life what you put into it.
Mike Leslie

Ego is any image you have of yourself that gives you identity. For the most part, from the time we are born our egos are programmed and established by our parents, family, friends, peers, co-workers and experiences. Definitions-Labels-Voices! Ego emphasizes "otherness" of others. It's dysfunctional! It's unnecessary! Awareness is the first step. Ego feeds on anger-on distrust-on feelings period. There will NEVER be a sudden stop or an easy solution for these rising issues. We have not evolved enough to be comfortable in our world without separation,limitations and restrictions. So conversations and education must continue to develop a truer sense of freedom for all. Ego will not be submissive to "other's" importance. In there, lies the answer. When you pluck at the fibers of identity, it can unravel rather unattractively because we are wired to hold onto the definition of self. There simply is no platform or infrastructure strong enough to support the amount of change needed to secure a more productive and beneficial hate free environment. There is tolerance- such an ugly word. Unfortunately just like animals we like to feel superior to- there is always an alpha. There will always be an ego that feels it has to be dominant until it's knocked down and replaced by another. So how do we combat the darkness? We can act as a lens and collect and focus the light of advancement to higher level of consciousness. Transparency and pureness of thought and action. It's very basic. Will it happen? Not soon enough.
Shelly Townsend


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