by Aletha cross posted from her blog Yllom Mormon
When you think of a Command Man, what words pop into your head? Tyrannical? Demanding? Unreasonable? Selfish? Those were the first few I thought of. But today, we get to talk about another side of the Command Man. Mr. Command, the servant. Because Mr.C is based off of God, and everybody knows God the Father is so serving…I’m lost.
I’ll let Michael explain!
Text is in purple.
Good Command Men Are Servants
In the early summer of 2011, Alabama was hit by many huge tornados (sic). Within hours several family members and friends rushed down with supplies to help the victims. They all came back with the same observations. The victims stood around dazed and lacked clarity as to what needed to be done.
Call me crazy, but wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that people whose lives and homes were destroyed would be, I don’t know, in shock? Perhaps they were standing around dazed because they were looking at the wreckage of their houses, possessions, and lives as they know it. Because Michael specified “within several hours”.
A few years back, there was a huge tornado in Greensburg, KS. It was about 20 minutes from my hometown, so a lot of us went down to help. We got there a few hours after the “all clear” was sounded. And you know what we saw? People in shock. People standing around glassy-eyed because they couldn’t believe the amount of destruction they had just witnessed. Their lives, belongings, and livelihoods were, for the most part, gone in a wind gust. That takes some time to accept.
Government organizations had not yet arrived-no FEMA, no Red Cross, no National Guard, not even local authority. There was a singular lack of leadership among the many local volunteers. They were all good-hearted Steady Men wanting to serve, but no one knew where to start. No one was taking command.
It was awesome of these people to volunteer; it really was. I’ve taken CERT (community emergency response team training) classes, and know what to do as a first responder. The first thing, is triage. It’s to make sure everybody is physically safe, and as mentally secure as possible. It is completely probable that these “good-hearted Mr. Steadies” were assessing the damage and figuring out where to start.
So one of the young men in our group took command. He started directing our group from Tennessee, male and female, as to the division of responsibility. The locals gravitated to the authority of the young man and asked him what they could do, as if he were wearing a uniform and had an unlimited supply of goods. He didn’t. When relief workers came donating a truckload of food, someone of our group stepped forward and assumed control. They assembled a team to distribute the goods.
Makes sense. Someone from the outside would have to make the first move, because the locals were probably traumatised and not really capable of making decisions. Again, it’s called “being in shock” for a reason. I’m wondering why he specified “male and female” volunteers.
But I’m looking at the words Michael uses. “Took command.” “Directing” “Assumed control”. Those are not at all synonyms of being a servant. It seems like Michael is confusing “being of service” with “serving”. I think there’s a difference. Anyone can be of service, but it takes a certain type of person to truly serve. I guess it’s the difference between obligation and desire. Growing up, we were taught that if we did the right things for the wrong reasons, it was worse than not doing them at all. Because intentions matter.
One of our older ladies came home laughing, saying people were coming to her asking what they could or could not do. She is a Go-to lady, so she fell right in place as boss in her area of food preparation and distribution.
How odd. Here is a woman “directing” others, yet she gets no condemnation from Michael. Though I’m speculating that her area of food distribution and preparation was relegated to the women-folk. And for some reason, the idea of her coming home laughing really bugs me. But I can’t figure out why. If you know, sound off in the comments.
Due to the overwhelming magnitude of complete destruction, the victims and even the volunteers could not decide what to do until someone organized them and began giving directions. Early in the recovery of the tragic event, leadership was more important than the goods pouring in from everywhere. The Command Man did not have a desire to rule or to be at the top. He desired to serve and understood his greatest service was to make use of the human resources available.
This is a good paragraph. People do need organized, lead, and directed. I’m sure a free-for-all at the food distribution would have been a disaster. I’m glad there were people that lead effectively. The issue is, this is a big disaster. There is a lot of difference between directing a big disaster, and directing a family. Because in a disaster, efficiency and order is paramount. When dealing with a family, empathy is (IMO) the more necessary. Of course, in a perfect world, there would always be both in every situation.
The Servant or the Self-Seeking
A Command Man will take charge as a ministry to others, or he will take charge in pursuit of his own selfish ends. We know of one selfish Command Man that rushed to the scene of devastation seeking profit by taking advantage of the desperation of the victims. Things like wars, business deals, church disputes, and times of tragedy manifest the character of everyone, especially the Command Man. Is he benevolent or egotistical?
I think it’s odd that a Visionary who can’t keep a job is a “double-dog jerk”, but there is absolutely no condemnation on Mr.C who took advantage of victims of tragedy. None at all. It’s very odd. Also, it’s odd that Michael pits “benevolence” against “egotistical”, as if they were opposites. A better antonym for benevolent would be “tyrannical”.
There will be times in a Command Man’s life when he will ride the line, not exactly doing evil but not sacrificing either. He might strive to get ahead and selfishly take advantage of the vulnerability of others. These Command Men often don’t see what they do as self-seeking. They think of themselves as strong, not conniving. “In whom the god of this world hat blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves,but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. (2 Cor 4:4-5)”
It’s sadly comical how un-self aware Michael is. Like he doesn’t realize how much advantage he takes of people who genuinely want what’s best for their kids or family. Or doesn’t see the evil his books unleash in people.
A righteous Mr. Command sees the bigger picture and strives to help the greatest number even if he must call upon his family to share the sacrifices. If he is an honest man he will take financial loss in order to help lead those in need, but in the end he will usually come out on top. If he is not a man of integrity he will be selfish and use the resources of others to further his own interests.
It’s weird how there is no stressing the differences. Michael just lays out “righteous man” and “not a man of integrity” as if they are nothing more than a choice of greeting cards. And really, he doesn’t make the honest man sound very appealing. “He will take a financial loss, and usually come out on top.” If the choice was between that and “using other’s resources to further his own interests”, it’s really kind of a tough call. Possible financial ruin vs. using people?
If a Command man is selfish toward his wife, he is more likely to be selfish towards others. Consequently, if he is selfish or pushy in business towards others, he is likely to become callous toward his wife and maybe even toward his children. Every man is indivisible, not one man at home and another at work. He is who he is in all areas of life and nothing escapes his benevolence or his selfishness, as it may be.
Wow. Things just don’t look happy or nice for Mr. Command’s wife, do they? He’s selfish, callous, pushy…and in a section about being a servant, too!
Also, I don’t know how true it is that people are indivisible. I know it is possible to compartmentalize. For example, I’ve read books about mob bosses or assassins that are loving family men, with wives and children that have no clue what daddy really does. These might be fiction, but I’m wondering if that much difference really is possible.
I still think it’s weird that both benevolence and selfish are presented in such a neutral manner. Coming from the man that calls people names and denigrates them for having different ways of doing things, Mr. Command is getting off pretty scot-free. It’s really making me uncomfortable; the way he is offering benevolence or selfishness as if either choice is acceptable.
That’s what it is that’s bugging me! Because in the Visionary section, Michael made sure to emphasize the suffering wife. In the Steady section, he cautioned about the dominant mama. But in this section, he just says “callous, selfish, or pushy towards the wife” as if it has no consequence on a real person. And that’s just sad.
A Command Man doesn’t hang around where he can’t make a difference. He is only comfortable when he is needed and to change things in an obvious way. The hospital room, a weeping woman, or household projects are not part of his job description. He doesn’t like committees unless they are functioning at his discretion. He won’t share power, but he will delegate it when it serves his goals.
Well, this sections tells me a few things. 1) I am at least partially command. I don’t do well with crying or big emotions. 2) Mr. Command sounds like a selfish jerk. 3) It really sounds like Michael thinks that Commands are suns that everybody and everything orbits around. He will delegate when it serves his goals, he doesn’t like committees unless they are doing his will…I’m still trying to reconcile these traits with the servant Michael keeps trying to pitch. Because really, he’s doing a better sell of Mr. Commands getting their way all the time than exhorting them to be servants and help others.
Next post, we talk about the wives of Command Men. I’m scared; I really am.
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