John is DEAD!


Growing up I had a hero, a mentor, a person that taught me how to act, and how to survive. But, John Wayne is dead.

You see, John taught me that if you wanted something done you had to do it for yourself. He taught me that if you got knocked down you had to get up and make it happen. He taught me how to talk slow and low to get respect. But, John is dead.

I have learned that we do nothing and I mean nothing by ourselves. If you have an idea you will need people who have gone before you or come along with you to make it happen. No longer can you pull yourself up by your boot straps and do it all on your own. But, John is dead.

There was another John in my life. John F. Kennedy. I was 8 when I heard him say, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.”  After watching the movie PT109 I knew this was a man to pattern my life after. But, John is dead.

It seems that during my whole life there has been one conflict after another in and around the world. There has always been a hint or threat of war somewhere.

Now, the conflict is on our own shores over statues of the past. It is hard to believe that this is what the rest of the world is seeing played out all over television and the internet and what the history books will write about.

Peaceful discourse? Where have you gone? Where have the teachings of right and wrong gone from the family units? Where has the peaceful teachings of our religious leaders gone? Where has common courteous behavior, respect for one another and one another’s property gone?

It is time to speak out for peace and in peace. I have spent my life teaching personal accountability and personal leadership. I feel I have failed. Not that I will stop. I need others to hear and learn so they can and teach others.

My concern is that we might have lost the last 3 generations to the high-speed technologies and it will take 3 generations to reignite the learning process of courtesy and respect.

When violence erupts no one is listening, learning, or creating. Violence stops all progress of movement forward. It stops everything in place and moves us all backward.

These words are really not that hard to live by: I don’t agree with you. Tell me more and I will listen and do my best to understand. Yes, it will take intentionality and the trait of teach-ability. Yes, we can learn to have peaceful discourse. We can agree to disagree and still respect each other.

What the past history should have taught is that a Nation divided is a Nation that will fall. The question today is this, What are you willing to do today to build your country, yourself, and your family in non-violent ways?

The Leadership Wrangler

D.W.(Dick) Powell