Friday, August 06, 2010

Refraining from Profanity

This is an excerpt from The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy:

"Leading through your words and actions--whether someone's watching you or not--tells the world who you are, and more important, who you believe God created you to be. It not only is true in times of turmoil, but is woven throughout the very fabric of our lives.

"James also reminds us of the destructive potential of our words, when he talks about the fickleness of the tongue:

"'Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water?

"'Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can't draw fresh water from a salty spring.'
James 3:9-12 (New Living Translation)

"In March 2009, Chicago Public Schools administrators proposed a new rule prohibiting high school coaches from using profanity while performing their coaching responsibilities. To my amazement, I was asked to go on a national radio show, not to debate whether this was a good rule, but to discuss whether it was even possible for coaches to comply. I assured the interviewer and the listeners that it certainly was possible and that I and many members of my staff were able to do it without need of an ordinance. I pointed out that the school board would be very disappointed if they went into the classrooms and found teachers cursing nonstop at the students and that I didn't understand why it should be any different on the playing field.

"I believe that coaches, especially in high school, should be held to the same standard as classroom teachers--if not a higher one. I agree with the idea behind the proposed rule in Chicago, but I must say it's sad they would have to legislate such an obvious standard of leadership to those in powerful positions of influence with our youth. What message does that type of language send to those young people? That it's okay to demean someone if you're in charge? That it's okay for me to disrespect an official because I think he made a mistake?" (pages 126-127)


Mitchell said...

Thanks for sharing, Terry! Coach Dungy is a great Christian example. We would all do well to follow him. Language is one of my pet peeves. I went through the "stage" early in life where I was experimenting with foul language. An older gentleman I respected heard me say something out of line and instead of blasting me for it he took me aside and reminded me that God I was intelligent enough to complete my sentences wit appropriate words an that all I was doing by cussing was showing my ignorance. Now, I didn't like being told I was using inappropriate language but I sure didn't want people to think I lacked intelligence! I made up my mind right then to "clean up" my act. I appreciated that advice and pass it along whenever I can.

Terry said...

I went through a similar phase. It's a topic that is not addressed very often, but it's important. I appreciate your example and great comment, Mitchell.

Warren Baldwin said...

Good article. Isn't it a shame that such a ruling must be made? Why aren't we hiring people of higher character to begin with?

Terry said...

Good question, Warren.