Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

牛仔的牧養邏輯

By Ken Korkow

即使我已經在商場多年,有許多關於生命的深層課題,卻是我在美國南克達州的一個家庭農場中當牛仔時領悟到的。比如,我從牧養小牛以及觀察和小牛們互動的人身上,學到人與人之間的關係。

從帶領牛群的工作當中,我領悟到三件事:

第一、不熟悉的人,通常不願意接近牛群。他們常常用一隻手,遠遠地趕牛,希望小牛照他們的希望去做。但是小牛通常不領情,常常踢他們或用腳踩他們。這樣和牛相處的方式,任務完成度最低,傷害最大。

第二、有一些人真正掌握牛群。他們一手抓住牛耳朵,一手抓住牛尾巴。雖然穿著乾淨的藍色牛仔褲,他們卻願意靠近小牛骯髒的屁股。這樣和牛相處的方式,任務完成最高。 雖然小牛還是會踢人,但是卻不會真的傷到人。而且小牛會按照他們的指示往前走。

第三、最後一個方式,就是遠離牛圈和小牛。這樣做的話,沒有人會受傷,他們的衣服能保持乾淨,但是任務完成度就是零。

我個人的牛仔經驗,讓我看到帶領人和帶領牛,有很多相似之處。如果你不願意靠近和親自接近人群,那麼在人際關係中,你就只能當個局外人。

在人際關係中,我們經常感到挫折。因為我們無法明白有些人為什麼要這樣做或那樣做?所以我們不願意和人更深地交往,不願真正進入關係當中去碰觸一些議題,也因此我們永遠不會知道問題的答案。如果我們真正想要和人建立關係,第一個和第三個方法就無效。我們必須要冒著被弄髒的風險。這樣的原則也可以應用在企業領袖和他們的員工身上、專業人士和他們的同事身上,甚至是顧客和供應商身上。

我們觀察耶穌的一生,他做了一個決定,不把焦點放在大眾或是限制在具有影響力的人身上。相反的,他花了三年半的時間和他的使徒搭帳棚旅行。他沒有和門徒保持距離,他們的關係是公開和透明的。

雖然我們沒有足夠的時間和精力和和每一個人深入交往,也不一定有那樣的機會。但是我們可以跟隨神的引導,開始和祂建立關係。在馬可福音12章30節當中,耶穌說:「你要盡心、盡性、盡意、盡力愛主-你的神。」這是所有關係的基礎。

在馬可福音12章31節當中,耶穌再告訴我們:「其次就是說:『要愛人如己。 』再沒有比這兩條誡命更大的了。」這裡的「人」包括我們的另一半、家人、同事、朋友和鄰居。耶穌告訴我們,關係的優先次序是非常重要的,因為若是我們不盡心盡意愛神,是沒有辦法去愛其他人的。

在職場上也是,我們可以把耶穌在世上給祂的使徒最後的誡命活出來。所以,你們要去,使萬民作我的門徒,奉父、子、聖靈的名給他們施洗 ( – 或譯:給他們施洗,歸於父、子、聖靈的名)。凡我所吩咐你們的,都教訓他們遵守,我就常與你們同在,直到世界的末了。」(馬太福音2819-20)

Ken Korkow住在美國的內布拉斯加州歐馬哈市,是當地CBMC的會長。這篇文章經授權,節錄自他的所寫的「生命傳真」專欄。

反思與問題討論

你有到過農場和動物互動的經驗嗎?如果你被要求去照顧牛,你覺得自己會用哪一種方式? 作者在與牛群的互動當中觀察到和人相處的原則-願意靠近和被弄髒。對此,你有甚麼看法? 為什麼願意靠近人是一件很難的事情?你有個人的親身經歷嗎? 文章中談到要和人有深入有意義的關係,必須先和神有深入有意義的關係,你同意嗎?分享你的看法。

備註: 如果你手上有聖經,希望能閱讀更多關於這個主題的經文,請參考:箴言12章26節、17章17節、27章9-10節;腓立比書4章9節;帖撒羅尼迦前書2章7-8節、11-12節;提摩太後書2章2節

“COWBOY LOGIC” ABOUT CALVES – AND PEOPLE

By Ken Korkow

Even though I have spent many years in the business world, some of my greatest, most profound lessons about life – and work – have come from my time as a “cowboy,” spent on a family ranch in South Dakota, U.S.A. For instance, I have learned a lot about relationships with people while working with young cows – and observing other people working with them.

Experience have taught me that in working calves, there are three places to be:

1. When working with calves, most people not familiar with them do not want to get to close. So they stick a hand out and try to make the calf do what they want from an arm”s distance away. But the calf kicks and often, at the apex of the kick, strikes the person in the leg. Bottom line: minimum accomplished, and maximum pain.

2. A few people actually charge the calf. They get one hand on the ear, and the other hand on the tail. They put their clean blue jeans up close and personal to the calf's unclean hind end. Bottom line: the calf still kicks, but they are so close it does not hurt. And usually they can get the calf to go where they want it to go.

3. The other alternative to do is stay out of the pen and away from the calves entirely. Bottom line: The person does not get hurt, and their clean jeans do not get dirty. But no work is accomplished.

My cowboy experience has also shown me how working with people is a lot like working with calves. If you are not willing to get very close and personal, you might as well stay out of the relationship.

We often become frustrated with what people do. We wonder why are they doing this – or that? Without being willing to go deeper in relationships with them, getting below the surface to uncover the relevant issues, we will never get the answers. This is why, if we desire to build meaningful relationships with people, approaches #1 and #3 will not work. We must get close – and must risk getting dirty. This applies to employers and their employees; business and professional people engaging with their colleagues at work, and even in interactions with customers and suppliers.

We see in the life of Jesus Christ that He made the decision not to focus on large crowds or confine His attention to people with influence and affluence. Instead, He went extremely deep – the equivalent of a 3½ -year camping trip – with a handful of unlikely individuals, men He chose to become His disciples. No staying an arm”s length away; no hiding out. Neither was an option. Everything in their relationship was open and transparent.

But we cannot go deep with everyone. We have neither the time nor the energy. And we cannot invest in every good opportunity that presents itself. We must follow God's leading, starting with our relationship with God. In Mark 12:30, Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” This is the foundation for all other relationships.

In the next verse, Mark 12:31, Jesus cited the next relationship priority: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This includes our spouse, family, people where we work, friends, even people who live in our neighborhood. The order of priority Jesus gave is important, because we cannot truly love our “neighbor” – whoever that might be – without first loving God as fully and deeply as we can.

Then, even in the workplace, we can carry out the final instructions Jesus gave His followers in His last moments on earth. We can “make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). We can only do this if we”re willing to get close, and risk getting dirty.

Ken Korkow lives in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A., where he serves as an area director for CBMC. This is adapted from his “Fax of Life” column. Used with permission.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

Have you ever been on a ranch or a farm, and interacted with the animals? If you were asked to approach a calf, which approach do you think you would take? Mr. Korkow observes that in working with calves – and with people – it is necessary to get close, and be willing to get dirty. What is your reaction to this? Why do you think willingness to get close to people can be so difficult? What has been your experience in doing this? It is stated that the key to developing deep, meaningful relationships with people is first having a deep, meaningful relationship with God. Do you agree? Explain your answer.

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 12:26, 17:17, 27:9-10; Philippians 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8,11-12; 2 Timothy 2:2

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