Two more of Greenleaf’s ‘Deep Currents’ that go ‘hand in glove’ are ‘Humility’ and ‘Continuous Regeneration.’

One of my mother’s favorite phrases, the one she would offer up when one of us became ‘too full of ourselves’ was: ‘Be Humble!’ The Ancient, and some contemporary, Wisdom Figures offer us the same admonition. Being humble means that one is not full of hubris (the pride that comes before the fall) nor is one full of arrogance. Hubris and Arrogance are two of the major blocks to ‘regeneration.’

Greenleaf advocated ‘Continuous Regeneration.’ Continuous means ‘without ceasing.’ ‘Regeneration’ involves ‘evolving,’ ‘rebirthing’ and ‘renewing.’ In 1000 A.D. the Iroquois Confederacy was committed to the next seven generations. How often do we hold the same view today? This ‘Continuous Regeneration’ must occur both at the personal and organizational levels (in this case an organization is any organized group of two or more individuals – a long term relationship between two individuals, for example).

Evolution means that what follows will be more complex and of a higher order than what had come before. It entails a ‘letting go’ of some and a ‘taking on’ of some and what emerges is a ‘third way’ that is comprised of ‘some’ of the old and ‘some’ of the new. Individuals can evolve, so can organizations (long-term relationships, marriages, health care systems, companies of all types and sizes, foundations, etc.). We can also ‘devolve’ – and some of these do. We are, by the by, never static nor stable; we are always evolving or devolving (or so it seems to me).

Rebirthing occurs when, like the Phoenix, a person (who is suddenly disabled), a relationship (that ‘dies’) or an organization (whose product is no longer relevant) ‘goes up in flames’ (figuratively speaking) and they ‘rebirth’ themselves.

Renewal occurs when the person, the relationship or the organization stops, steps-back, reflects, reorients, reenergizes and reenters refreshed and renewed (a ‘retreat’ is one way of fostering renewal).

As I noted earlier, hubris and arrogance are two of the attitudes that hinder or, more likely, block evolution, rebirth, or renewal – in Greenleaf’s terms ‘Regeneration.’ I have known individuals, relationships and organizations that have suffered greatly because of their being full of hubris and arrogance; they neglected to follow my mother’s admonition of ‘Be Humble.’

I am very proud to say that I have never suffered from Hubris nor from Arrogance! How about you, gentle reader?

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