Author Archives: Fred Jeans

We Can If We Will

When I worked in a steel mill, we used large battery powered fork lifts which were capable of carrying over 40,000 pounds. Their batteries were recharged daily and because charging batteries give off highly explosive hydrogen gas, the walls behind, around and over the charging stations had huge three foot high red letter warnings: “DANGER! EXPLOSIVE GAS! NO SMOKING! In short, the only way you could miss it, was to be blind or stupid. One day I saw three men smoking right in front of the charging station. If it hadn’t been so serious, it would have been funny, because they could have been an advertisement for stupidity, standing there smoking while ringed with huge red no smoking signs.

I asked them if they could read. One of them laughed and assured me that they could, so I asked them to step away from the enclave and look back at the wall. “What do you see?” I asked.

The first man answered, “What?” The second answered “Yeh, so what? I’ve worked here for a long time and I ain’t never seen one blow up.”

I told him that if he had seen one blow up, he would not be alive. I tried to explain to them just how serious the danger was, and that it was actually far greater than they realized because at that very moment, we were purging line furnaces with hydrogen gas, and a spark could have touched off an explosion which would have wiped out that entire section of the mill, and a large portion of the surrounding community.

The “It can’t happen to me” attitude that these three exhibited, amazes me. Most of us, live with that notion, and in truth, that is not all bad, but when it causes us to ignore obvious danger, or to throw caution to the wind, and place ourselves and others in jeopardy, that’s a different story. As these men did, we often take for granted that because something has never happened, it cannot happen. Or we assume that because something has always been, it will continue unchanged.

Each of us must examine our hearts. We must seek to see where we can do our jobs more efficiently, and more effectively. It does not matter what your job is. It can be done better, and with God’s help, this will be a better year. We can if I will.

Chaplain Fred Jeans

 

“The Peppermint Stick”

I recall one year, when I was still a baby, that I got the mumps just before Christmas day. I can remember sitting in my high chair trying to eat, and crying because it hurt so much. Now people laugh at me when I tell them that I can remember when I was a baby, and they really scoff when I tell them that I can remember being in my mother’s womb, but that’s another story.

We always got fruit, nuts and candy in our Christmas stockings and that year, we all got a large peppermint candy stick, which was about an inch in diameter, and seven or eight inches long. My jaws hurt from the mumps and I was very sick, but all I could think about was eating some of that candy. It was so beautiful and it looked so delicious, and I wanted so very much, for something to make me feel better, but try as I might, I could not force my lips open far enough to get the job done. The best I could do was to stick my tongue out and lick it a little.

Because I was so sick, I thought eating some of that candy would help me feel better, but even after all of that effort, the candy stick actually tasted terrible and kind of made me sicker. It was quite a long time after I recovered before I tried to eat any more of it, and I actually threw most of it away. When Mom made me some soup, which as I recall, wasn’t all that appealing nor was it pretty, but it sure was good, I eagerly slurped it off of the spoon.

A lot of things in life, people, cars, clothes, houses, etc., are just like that candy stick. They look beautiful, they look delicious, they seem to offer something that will make everything better, and even though we might not be able to afford them; even though they might be the worst thing for us, we do our dead level best to acquire them. We see the ads and buy into the myth that things can make us happy, and we want that promised contentment so much, that we will do anything to get it, but like the candy stick, when we finally get these “things”, they often makes things worse.

Every year, thousands of Americans go deeply in debt, trying to have a “Merry Christmas.” The dangerous world situation, national and international unrest, marital or family problems, illness, job stress, horrible murders like the ones in Connecticut and more, cause all of us to yearn for a happier, merrier Christmas than ever before, but buying things we cannot afford, doing drugs or drinking to excess will not do the trick. TV, newspapers, store fronts, movies, all seem to offer answers, and in our hearts we cry “oh if only…” but as with me and that peppermint stick, reality seldom if ever matches the hype surrounding it.

New cars, different husbands or wives, bigger TVs, parties, clothes or jewelry, or what have you, do not hold the key to happiness. With or without these things you are still you; I am still me, and our problems have not changed. The Bible says “Even though I gain the whole world and do not have love, I have nothing,” and love is the real message of Christmas. Love came down in Bethlehem in the form of a baby. Love went to the cross to open the door to peace of mind and heart through a relationship with God. Love for family and friends is what is most important at any time, and even moreso at Christmas.

Instead of seeking happiness in self indulgence, follow the example of the Wise Men. Seek the one who offers “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men.” for “Unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior which is Christ the Lord,” and when you find Him, He’ll share His love with you, and you can share it with others.

May all that is good, all that is helpful, all that is truly beautiful, fill not just your stockings, but your hearts and lives at Christmas and throughout the coming new year.

Chaplain Fred Jeans
Kenilworth Care And Rehab

 

Teamwork

There were many unqualified men in the steel mill where I worked, who got positions because they were sons, or friends or something to someone. These men often lacked the maturity needed for their jobs, and usually considered their abilities to be greater than they were.

Our plant had four tandem mills, which reduced the thickness and smoothed the surface of the steel. Each mill had two stands with two large rolls approximately 30 inches in diameter, pressing against two smaller rolls of about fifteen to eighteen inches in diameter, through which the steel passed. The rolls were about ten feet long and from their exposed ends, they looked like two snowmen, with one stacked upside down on top of the other. The smaller rolls actually resembled rolling pins, with the necks on either end being six to eight inches in diameter. When these rolls got worn, or when the mill wrecked, they were reground and reused.

A coil of steel came off of a reel at the entry end of the mill, went through the rolls and recoiled on the exit end. When the mill wrecked, the steel honey combed where it entered the small rolls, and become pressure welded to the rolls. When this happened, an overhead crane would be used to get the rolls out and to clear the mess of mangled steel.

On a day when a mill wrecked, the foreman, motioned for the crane to come over. The crane operator, Harley, had over twenty years of experience on that crane, and knew what he was doing. He moved the crane which was about forty or so feet above the floor, into position, and lowered the hook. The crew placed a steel cable on the hook and looped it over the exposed end of a roll on the entry stand. The foreman motioned for the crane operator to raise the hook, and Harley shook his head “no.” The foreman repeated this action several times and each time Harley shook his head “no.”

At this point the foreman went to the call box and called Harley every filthy thing he could think of, and without giving him a chance to explain, ordered him to take up the hook. Harley told him and the crew to get clear, pulled up the hook, snapped the neck off of a ten thousand dollar roll, effectively ruining it, and then just sat there.

The head roller on the mill went to the red faced foreman and said to him, “If you talk real nice to that man up there, he can get you out of this mess.” After a few minutes, the foreman went to the call box, apologized for his pig headedness and sheepishly asked Harley for his help. Harley soon got things cleaned up, but the foreman’s pride had cost the company a $10,000.00 roll.

There are many lessons to be learned here, perhaps the most obvious being that we never have all of the answers. But to me the most important thing that I see is the fact that on any team, everyone is important and necessary, and just because one might be the boss, he or she is not necessarily the smartest or the most important person on the crew. Most military veterans will tell you that it is not the officers who get the job done. It’s the NCO’s, the sergeants.

When that mill was running, the roller was most important. When it was being loaded, the loader was most important. When it was being unloaded, the assistant and the crane operator were most important, and when the mill wrecked, it took everyone to get it going again. At any given moment a different person might be most important, but at all times, they all needed to work together to accomplish their purpose.

Regardless of our position, when we think we have all of the answers, we probably are the one person on the team who should be removed. When we refuse to hear the voice of experience and wisdom from others, we put their jobs and their work at risk. The Bible tells us to let the attitude of Christ be in us, who even though He was God’s Son, humbled himself…. A truly humble person, is not prideful but grateful to God for his talents and never thinks he or she is better than others.

Chaplain Fred Jeans,
Kenilworth Care And Rehab

 

Healing Broken Hearts

We in the health care industry, are faced almost daily, with situations where mending broken hearts is sometimes more important than mending broken bodies; where no pill or medicine will help, and where there is no “one size fits all” answer.

The Signature healthcare model emphasizes the spiritual as being just as important as the physical. This in no way diminishes the importance of caring for the physical, but it recognizes that a person is more than just a body. In the Biblical perspective, we are spiritual beings that live in a body, and the simple truth is that you cannot neglect one aspect of our being without affecting the other.

I remember a man who almost never smiled. Then one day, I was talking to him, and as I was leaving, I casually said, “I’ll see you later, OK buddy?” Immediately, a big smile crossed his lips as he said to me, “How did you know that ‘Bud’ was my name?” It seems that all of his life, he had been called “Bud,” and hearing that name brought joy to his heart. Now when he sees me, he smiles, because I think he sees me as someone who knows him. While this discovery did not fix his physical problems, it began the journey toward mending his broken heart.

One day. a little girl’s puppy got her favorite doll and mangled one of its arms. When the little girl saw the damage the puppy had done, she was devastated. She grabbed the doll with the mangled arm and ran to her mother. “Mom always knows what to do,” she reasoned. With tears streaming down her face, she begged her mother to fix the doll, but it was just beyond repair.

As the mother tried to console her daughter, the child pulled away from her and ran into the garage where her father was working. “Daddy can fix anything” she thought as she burst through the door and ran crying into his arms. “Please Daddy, can you put Dolly’s arm back on,” she cried, but the look on her father’s face belied the fact that this was something he just could not fix. He took his daughter into his arms and told her that he would get her another doll, “just like Dolly,” but that was not what she wanted.

She pushed away from her father and ran down the street to the church. As she ran through the doors, she crashed into the legs of the pastor, who was just leaving for the day. He knew the little girl and her family, so when he saw the tears, he lifted her into his arms and asked her, “What’s so terrible that has caused all of this crying?”

Sobbing the sobs that only the deepest hurt can bring, the little girl replied, “Is this the place that mends broken hearts?”

When I read this story, I find myself wondering how I would answer that question. Jesus called the lonely and downcast to Him with a promise of healing, but do we, or can we serve in that same capacity?

The biggest enemy of our elders and senior citizens, is the loneliness and the sense of uselessness they experience daily. We in America focus so much on the physical aspects of healing that we often overlook the fact that one the biggest detriments to healing among the aged, is a lack of purpose; a reason for getting out of bed in the morning.

Whether you are in healthcare, pastoral care, or you just plain care, what would you say if that little girl’s question had been addressed to you? Or for that matter, what would you say to a friend or relative whose life expresses that question?

Perhaps more to the point, at one time or another, that question is presented to all of us. How do you respond to it?

Chaplain Fred Jeans,
Kenilworth Care And Rehab

 

“Echos” by Chaplain Fred Jeans

Johnny had just been scolded by his mother, and sent to his room. He muttered “I hate you,” as he slammed the bedroom door, and his grandfather heard it. With Mom’s permission Gramps loaded Johnny into the car and headed to the country. He took the lad by the hand and walked out onto a hand bridge looking over the valley. “Listen,” he said as he shouted “I love you.” The little boy listened intently as the echo came back: “I love you, I love you, I love you.”

“Now you shout what you said to your mother,” Gramps told him. Johnny hung his head and shook it. “I don’t want to.” “But I want you to, so yell it out,” Gramps said.

Finally Johnny half yelled, “I hate you.” and back came the echo, “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.”

“Don’t you wish you could get that back?” Gramps said as he yelled again, “I love you,” and stood watching his grandson as the echo answered, “I love you, I love you, I love you.”

Then from somewhere across the valley a woman’s voice called out “I love you too,” followed by the echo, “I love you too, I love you too.”

Gramps had no idea where that came from, but it made the lesson even better. “Which echo did you like best Johnny, mine or yours?”

“Neither,” came the response. “I liked hers,” he said pointing off in the distance.

“Do you think she heard your echo?” Gramps asked. “I hope not,” the boy answered.

“But do you think she did?” Gramps persisted.

“Yeh, she probably did.”

“How do you think she felt when she heard you?” Gramps asked.

“Not very good”

“How did you feel when you heard her?”

Looking up at his grandfather with tears in his eyes he replied, “Much better. Can we go home now? I need to erase the echo I sent to my Mom.”

“But that’s impossible,” Gramps countered.

“Yeh but I can give her a better one,” Johnny said as he ran for the car.

 

Who the woman was who answered “I love you too,” is not important, but the fact that she heard two echoes; and chose to respond only to the one which said “I love you,” is.

We hear echoes all day long, some good, some bad, some which we hear firsthand and some which have been repeated over and over again. We can’t change what we hear, but we can choose which echoes we wish to answer and how we will respond to them. We must also be aware that our responses generate echoes which are heard and repeated over and over again. Nearly everything we say or do, can have a good or bad affect on the ones to whom we speak and also on those who hear the echoes.

There was a woman who was really badmouthing her pastor to one of her friends, who was very ill. To make it worse, there were several others in the room at the time. I later asked her why she was doing that to a woman who did not need more grief. Then I said to her. “How do you know that this pastor isn’t the one who will be used by God to bring peace and healing into your friend’s life? Do you want to destroy that ministry?” I also strongly suggested that it might be a good thing for her to air her grievances with her pastor, to her pastor. As a postscript I added, “And what about the others who heard you? Did it ever occur to you that this pastor might be a vessel sent to minister to them too?”

We need to be careful what kind of echoes we send out, and the best way to keep from producing bad echoes is to not start them in the first place. However, if you do send out some bad ones, don’t try to erase them, because that is impossible. Just do everything in your power to replace them with better ones.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue:

Chaplain Fred Jeans
Kenilworth Care And Rehab

 

Before The Cleanup

The Ohio River at one time, was so polluted, that only mud cat and carp were able to survive in it, and neither was fit for consumption. A favorite recipe for preparing these carp went something like this. First you get a pine plank, scrub it and grease it with butter. You clean the carp, cover it with salt and pepper, put it in the oven and bake it at 350 degrees for thirty minutes. You then take it out of the oven, throw away the carp and eat the plank.

My oldest sister’s father in law, told of going to a large creek which emptied into the Ohio River, and bringing back tubs full of every kind of fish that you could imagine. He said there were so many fish in that creek and the water was so clear, that he didn’t need a rod and reel to catch them. He would crawl out onto a tree, a portion of which had fallen out over the water, and ease a long wire loop into the water, work it over a fish and yank, closing the loop and catching the fish. He said that in a matter of minutes, he would have all fish he wanted and be on the way home.

That creek, when I was in school was so polluted with orange yellow mine runoff, that nothing could live it. This kind of thing, along with the sewage and industrial waste which were daily pumped into it, had ruined the entire river system for hundreds of miles in every direction.

When a cleanup of the river was begun, most of us, gave it two chances of succeeding, little and none. It had been so long since the water was even fit to swim in, that nobody gave the cleanup a prayer, and even if they were successful in cleaning up the water, we all knew that the fishing could never come back.

They stopped the sewage and industrial waste from going into the river, and began in earnest to accomplish what we all saw as impossible. Even the color of the water changed. About ten years later, an article in the newspaper said fish in the river were now safe to eat. My reaction, like everyone else’s was “There is no way I will ever eat anything coming out of that river.” Many of us began fishing the river but no one kept what we caught, much less tried to eat it. Early on, I caught a huge rock bass which had lesions all over it, that sure didn’t look like it was safe to eat.

Some time later, when I caught a small muskie, I was shocked, because muskies do not live in polluted water, nor do beautiful channel cats and various other fresh water fish that were being caught. The fishing would never reach the level where it once had been, but the impossible had been accomplished. The river was back, but even though others did so, I never ate anything from it. I chose to remember what it had been before the cleanup, and missed some mighty fine eating.

It always disturbs me when I hear Christians and even whole denominations, excluding from ministry, those whose lives had been polluted by drugs, alcohol or some other sinful act, but who had been changed by an encounter with Christ. It seems that it’s OK for God to completely forgive, but somehow we don’t think we need to do the same.

Several years ago, a man called me and said that even though his entire life had been changed by his relationship with Jesus, he could not serve as a deacon in the church because he was divorced and remarried. He asked me what he should do. I told him to ask his pastor when divorce had become the unforgiveable sin, and to ask him where the Bible says we should hold against people, sins that God has forgiven.

I realize that caution must be observed before giving anyone a position in the church or anywhere else. But maybe before we condemn others because of their past, we would do well to remember the apostle Paul who by our standards would never have become an apostle, because he was directly responsible for the deaths of many Christian converts. And consider this: like Paul and the Ohio River, sometimes it’s better not to remember how things were before the cleanup.

Chaplain Fred Jeans
Kenilworth Care and Rehab

 

Some Things Cannot Be Taken Back

When I was in the first or second grade, I got a Mickey Mouse wristwatch for Christmas. It was so unexpected and I was so happy with it, that I wore it night and day. I just couldn’t wait to wear it on my first day back to school after the Christmas vacation. Just a few days later, when I was in the tub taking a bath, I discovered that I had not removed the watch from my wrist. The watch was not waterproof and I could see water under the crystal. Repairing it would cost more than it was worth. Needless to say, I was heartbroken, and never wore the watch again.

When I graduated from high school, my parents bought me the first suit I ever had. It was grey with a few darker threads in the fabric. I was so proud of that suit, that I really looked forward to graduation to wear it. When the day came, it was overcast and rained most of the day. After the graduation services, we went home, and as I ran for the house to escape the rain, I slipped on the wet brick pavement and fell, tearing the knee out of the trousers of my new suit. They were ruined beyond repair. I had worn that beautiful suit for the first and last time, all on the same day.

There are many things in life that happen, the consequences of which can never be changed. Whether the occurrence is accidental or intentional, does not matter. We have no alternative but to live with the results. Thousands of lives were inalterably changed by the hatred of a few fanatics on September 11, 2001. None of those murdered by the cowardly acts of Islamic terrorists, did anything to deserve what happened that day. Still, wish and pray as we might, we cannot change the fact that the painful loss of so many will be carried to the grave by friends, families and even bystanders.

As with my wristwatch and my trousers, the results of my actions were irreversible. And as with the massacre on 9-11, the results of others’ actions were irreversible. In both cases, there were things which could have been done, that might have avoided what happened, but whether the consequences are as small as a ruined suit or as devastating as a terrorist attack, one fact remains. They cannot be changed.

Whether we are talking about machinery or relationships, preventative maintenance is always less costly than repairing or replacing. Fixing little things as they occur is cheaper than dealing with major breakdowns or breakups.

Words that are spoken can never be retrieved. Sometimes, even after an apology has been given, the pain that our words have caused, is never completely gone. Hurts that are caused can never be undone. The consequences of drunk driving, or infidelity in marriage are often beyond repair. Sometimes even after reconciliation, trust and peace of mind are never recovered, and relationships are never again the same.

I once told a young man that he had an inclination to wait until things were beyond repair, before trying to do something about them, and that he was doing the same thing with his marriage. His refusal to listen, has nearly cost him his marriage.

When I did pre-marital counseling, I told the couples that if both of them always considered the feelings of their spouse before they spoke; if they thought about how their actions would impact their spouse, before they acted; if they always put their spouse before themselves, they would never have anything to argue about.

The one thing that destroys marriages and relationship: causes arguments and even wars; prevents harmony in businesses and churches is selfishness. The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is a good rule to live by, but perhaps more to the point would be this. If I love others more than I love myself, I will not have to be told to put their feelings and well being ahead of my own.

Chaplain Fred Jeans,
Kenilworth Care And Rehab

Dad’s Last Days

Just after Thanksgiving in 1979, my mother and father hooked up their camper, and  headed south, to spend t he winter in Florida.
Somewhere in South Carolina, my father became dizzy and disoriented. He couldn’t stand up or drive, so my sister and I flew down to get them. She went back with them on the plane and I drove the truck and pulled the camper back to Ohio.

When he was diagnosed with a cancerous mass in the lungs, which had spun off tumors into his brain, it was recommended that Dad be sent immediately to Pittsburgh, for treatment. He objected. His exact words were, “If I go up there, I will never come home.”

My family got together and decided that if Dad was to have a chance, he had to go to Pittsburgh. He reluctantly agreed. Around the first of December, they started radiation
treatments on the brain tumors. Even though the prognosis was not good, in the beginning at least, the results were promising. The tumors actually shrank to such an extent that the doctors decided he was strong enough for them to attack the mass in his lungs.

Dad had been a heavy smoker all of his life. He had also spent a lot of time in steel mills  around all kinds of fumes, and as a result, his lungs were in terrible shape, even without
the cancer. The chemo took its toll, and we were told that Dad probably would not last much longer, so we began staying with him around the clock. I remember the night before Christmas Eve, that he sat up in bed, looked at my wife and I, and said, “I just wanted to make sure you were still there,” and went back to sleep. He woke up a little later and I was able to talk to him for a couple of hours, something that I don’t recall ever doing before.

The next day was Christmas Eve and my sister and mother were to stay the night with Dad, but he had such a good day and was doing so well that the nurse in charge suggested they go home and get some rest. The phone rang as they walked in the door at home.
Dad had just died.

For several years, I wrestled with the knowledge that because we had insisted against Dad’s wishes, that he go to Pittsburgh, he had died alone in a hospital that he knew he would never leave.  We spent a lot of time second guessing ourselves. “If only…”, and “Why did we..?” or “Why didn’t we..?” and other such expressions dotted our conversations for quite some time. It was very clear that if dad was to survive, he had to go to Pittsburgh for
treatment. We had to give him every chance. He knew that and we knew that, but the “what if’s” came anyway.

There came a point where we all had to come to grips with one simple fact. We had done the best we could, and could do no more. We had no control over the results. Whether what we did had prolonged Dad’s life or shortened it, we can’t say. What we can say is that we took the only shot that Dad had. There were no ulterior motives. There was no thought for anyone but Dad. And when all was said and done, if we had not sent him to Pittsburgh, we would also have questioned that decision for the rest of our lives.

Life is full of situations where there really is no right or wrong. We frequently must choose between equally bad options, knowing that in an ideal world, we would choose none of
the above, but this is not an ideal world, and the options are dictated by circumstance. The course of action in these situations is simple. Pray for God’s guidance. Make your decision and live with the results, knowing that you did all you could. God will help you to make the decision, and God will be with you in the aftermath. There is nothing more to say. We do what we can, and leave the rest up to God. As the hymn says, “He knows the way through the wilderness. All we have to do is follow.” We rest in the knowledge that God knows
what He is doing, and is responsible for the final destination.

“It is not in man to direct his own paths.”Jer 10:23

Chaplain Fred Jeans,
Kenilworth Care & rehabilitation

Give Thanks Unto The Lord

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.”

I had my checkup yesterday – The bladder cancer is all gone with no sign of a recurrence.  Also my heart is “essentially normal.” Praise the Lord!

About thirty or so years ago, a shuttle plane crashed in the midwest. My son was in Chicago on business and was asked to return on an early flight with his boss. He said that he just did not want to do that and waited till morning. The plane he would have been
on, crashed killing everyone on it, including his boss.

Yesterday (a Wednesday) a man entered a building in Columbus, Ohio and began slashing people up with his knives. Yesterday, my son said he felt like he needed to go home for the
afternoon, something he rarely does. The building he works in is the same one that
this man entered. Fred would have been right there where all of the carnage took place, and knowing my son, he would have tried to stop the madman and who knows what might have happened?

I pray every day for the protection of God around my friends and family. These two accounts proves that God hears and answers prayers. Praise the Lord!

“Watch and pray always…”

Fredric E. Jeans, Chaplain,
Kenilworth Care & Rehabilitation Center

Us Versus Them

Back in the sixties, I worked in a steel mill where I and my supervisor were responsible
for all of the galvanized product which left our mill. We made certain that every pound of steel met all physical and metallurgical tolerances.

If something failed for one customer, it would pass for another, so when something failed the tests, we tried to find a legitimate diversion for it; something with different or lower metallurgical or processing standards. I literally carried in my head a knowledge of all of our customers’ products, including hold down areas, metallurgical requirements, and the product’s use and there were many alternate uses for just about everything we produced that could be sold instead of scrapped.

I came to work before six AM every morning and when I found rejected steel, I noted the reason for its rejection, looked over current orders, found a suitable and proper diversion, made out new tickets, changed processing orders if necessary, pulled the reject tickets and went on my way. “Quality Control” did not come to work before 9:00 AM, so by starting early, I could do this part of my job before they showed up. Otherwise, they would have blocked many of these diversions and much of this steel would have had to have been sold as salvage, and the company would have lost some significant money.

These men never figured out that we all worked for the same company. To them it was always and only Operations vs. Quality Control – “Us vs. Them”.  They constantly opposed the actions of Operations which could have netted larger profits, and consequently caused friction between the two departments that should never have happened.

Instead of cooperating with production to fix problems, they caused hard feelings by gossiping and playing one worker or department against the other. If they disagreed or were upset with you, they tried to make everyone else angry at you.

These men were trying to look good in the eyes of upper management but they succeeded in accomplishing the exact opposite. Everyone in production distrusted and avoided Quality Control like the plague. They had very few friends in the plant, because nobody could trust them.

The “Us vs. Them” attitude that exists in so many organizations, destroys morale. Inter-departmental cooperation is essential if a company is to be competitive and profitable. Self-seeking pettiness must give way to what’s best for the company. People must communicate and cooperate and back biting and gossip must stop. Seeking solutions to problems must replace finding someone to blame. Whether you are at the top of the food chain or the bottom, There’s always a better way.

Positive change is always possible if we ALL concede that “My way or the highway” is the wrong way.

One of my parishioners who had been praying that God would change her husband who
was an alcoholic, was getting upset because it wasn’t happening. I told her that “God always changes our hearts before He changes our circumstances.” I suggested that she try loving her husband, just as he is; “stop preaching at him, stop browbeating him and stop knocking him down and try picking him up.”

She took my advice and within two months, he had stopped drinking and ended up staying dry for the rest of his life. She was correct in despising his drinking and she was also correct in wanting God to change him. She was even justified in getting upset, but her methods turned out to be the wrong way – in fact it even contributed to the very problem she wanted to change.

When she stopped pushing him, and began walking with him, he began to change.

When she stopped being a part of the problem, she became a part of the solution.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they really are God’s children.

Chaplain Fred Jeans, Sebring, FL