Picking Up Sticks

I read somewhere that hard work is a sign of a willingness to be responsible. So typically people who are getting things done are usually getting them done for others as well as themselves. Some time ago in an interview with the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Jackson, I described myself as a man that picks up sticks. That may sound strange to most of you and it does sound a little strange to me as well. So let me explain how all of this works.

Years ago I had the privilege to attend and obtain a Scouting award called Wood Badge. The aim of this program is to make Scouters better leaders by teaching advanced leadership skills. One of those teaching skills that I particularly enjoyed was the art of “picking up sticks” or “teaching that everyone can work at any level and provide a service and that service need not be for profit of the wallet but one of the heart”.

The art of picking up sticks has nothing to do with sticks at all; it instead has everything to do with providing a service for your neighbor or your community without thought or question of compensation. It is the art of personally helping others. Why do I call it an art and how much skill does it take to pick up a stick? The skill and art of picking up sticks is derived from knowing what is important and possible to accomplished with the resources at hand. How difficult can that be you ask? Everyone should know what is important? But it is the art of being able to organize what is important and do the simple steps to accomplish it.

Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr said:

America today faces a grave moral and leadership crisis, and those of us who care about our country’s future can no longer sit on the sidelines and remain neutral”. Our leaders today have failed in the exercise of picking up sticks… they instead of trying to understand the simplicity of solving problems a single step at a time they mutilate the truth to their own end. But to be a leader is a dangerous game for those that have not the great courage in expressing “disdain” of the selling the rights of others for the indulgences for one self. You find yourself on the wrong side of road when it comes to money and way too often your courage wains due to the weight of too many sticks.

But have courage my friends for many have gone this way before you.”

In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg. Luther became known as a reformer, others as a destroyer, I remember his bold stand as a turning point in church history. Luther refused to allow God’s truth to be compromised.”

William Wallace lost his family and his life for Scotland.

Picking up a few sticks is easy.

Written by Frank Neudecker for The Jackson Press ~ December 30, 2020

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