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31. Frances Hesselbein: To Serve Is to Live

Blanchard, Ken; Broadwell, Renee Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

To Serve Is to Live

JIM DITTMAR

I met Jim Dittmar when he was directing the Servant Leadership Institute at Geneva College just outside of Pittsburgh. Every year he brought in outstanding speakers who had a heart for servant leadership. Frances Hesselbein was one of the best. I got to know Frances even better through her role at the Drucker Foundation. Despite her amazing accomplishments, she exudes humility. When Marshall Goldsmith interviewed Frances recently and asked her the key to her success, she said it was her blood type—“B positive.” When you read Jim’s essay on this legendary servant leader, you’ll see why that is true. —KB

FRANCES HESSELBEIN1 WAS CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA from 1976 to 1990; cofounder in 1990 and CEO of the Peter F. Drucker Leadership Institute (renamed the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute in 2012); recipient in 1998 of the Presidential Medal of Freedom; and one of Fortune magazine’s “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” in 2015. The complete list of Frances Hesselbein’s accomplishments, awards, and honors would take your breath away. Yet the reason she is so admired, respected, and loved by people from around the world has little to do with the tributes she has received. The reason is all about who she is—as a person and as a leader.

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Medium 9780253204530

9. Proleptic Portraits

Meir Sternberg Indiana University Press ePub

When I first met Miss Coplestone, in this room,

............ it was obvious

That here was a woman under sentence of death.

That was her destiny. The only question

Then was, what sort of death?

T. S. Eliot, The Cocktail Party

The whole of anything, said Henry James, is never told. But the converse surely holds true as well. The whole of anything is never suppressed. Even discourse as reticent as the Bible’s neither attempts nor craves the impossible. “No straw is given to thy servants, yet they say to us, Make bricks!” (Exod 5:16): the Israelite protest to Pharaoh is the one complaint that the reader cannot fairly make about his taskmaster. While doubtless on the skimpy side, moreover, the building material provided is of the finest quality. It comes from or at least through the mediation of the biblical narrator himself, rather than an unwittingly or cold-bloodedly or whimsically unreliable persona in the modern style. Though anything but omnicommunicative, he is not only omnicompetent by privilege but also responsible and systematic in performance. The art therefore turns on authoritative relations between the told and the withheld or, from the interpreter’s viewpoint, the given and the hypothetical: between the truth and the whole truth.

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Medium 9780253347640

1. Authority

Malcolm Bull Indiana University Press ePub

BORN IN 1827, the daughter of a hatter from Gorham, Maine, Ellen Gould Harmon had an uneventful childhood. At the age of nine, however, she was accidentally hit on the head by a stone, and her injuries prevented further formal education. She first heard about the imminent end of the world at twelve, when her parents took her to a meeting that William Miller was holding in her neighborhood. She waited until she was fifteen before fully committing herself to his movement, but when she did, she was expelled from the Methodist Church, into which she had been born, along with other members of her family.1

Her first vision occurred when she was still only seventeen, two months after the débâcle of October 22, 1844. This was a comforting revelation in which she saw that the saints would ascend from the earth to the Holy City after all. She continued to have such visions until 1878, although the frequency declined markedly in the 1860s, and she probably did not have more than about two hundred altogether. In 1846 she married James White, formerly a minister of the Christian Connection and a fellow disappointed Millerite.2 Together they worked for the Seventh-day Adventist denomination until James’s death in 1881. After this, Willie, one of Ellen White’s two surviving sons, became her closest confidant. She spent most of her life in the northern United States, but she visited Europe from 1885 to 1887 and lived in Australia between 1891 and 1900. On her return to America she settled near St. Helena, California, where she died in 1915. She never accepted formal office, thereby establishing a distinction between her charismatic role and the bureaucracy of the church. But throughout her long career, Ellen White wrote and spoke to Adventist audiences, who received her in the belief that she was the “spirit of prophecy” identified in the book of Revelation.3

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Medium 9780253332516

7 A Portrait of Ogun as Reflected in Ijala Chants

SANDRA T BARNES Indiana University Press ePub

Adeboye Baballa

Ìjálá are Yoruba poetic chants used in entertaining and saluting Ògún. As those who are familiar with the Ògún tradition very well know, the oríkì Ògún (verbal salutes to Ògún) within ìjálá reveal, little by little, the nature of the deity. One of the most striking revelations of the ìjálá is the contradictions found in them. This paper addresses these contradictions and argues that Ògún symbolizes a universal contradiction: humans are strong and, at the same time, they are frail. The constant oppositions in the texts of ìjálá artists are therefore a necessary and explainable part of this poetic tradition.

The contradictions, and in some cases the variations, found in Ògún traditions as they are rendered by ìjálá chanters are of three kinds. First, the figure of Ògún displays opposing personality traits (e.g., he is fiery and cool) or symbolic traits (e.g., he represents death and healing). Second, the literary construction of the chants opposes metaphors and images thereby reinforcing, through structure, contradictions that occur in content and meaning. Third, the devotees of Ògún place him in a bewildering variety of contradictory mythical traditions. Ògún founds many towns, conquers many people, and pursues several occupations. The wide variation in traditions raises questions as to the authenticity or correctness of any of them. But this problem is resolved in the ìjálá verbal salutes to Ògún. As one ìjálá artist declares: “Ògún méje l’Ògún-ún mi” (The Òg ùn that I know are seven in number). Thus, many forms are attributed to the god Ògún. But what is important is the total picture that the many contradictions and variations eventually create. It is the sum of the parts that provides insight into what Ògún actually represents to the Yoruba.

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Medium 9780253013866

1. On the Materiality of Black Atlantic Rituals

Edited by Akinwumi Ogundiran and Paula S Indiana University Press ePub

Akinwumi Ogundiran and Paula Saunders

Ritual has been at the core of Black Atlantic studies since the pioneering works by W. E. B. Du Bois ([1903] 1982), Melville Herskovits ([1941] 1990), Fernando Ortiz (1906), Jean Price-Mars ([1928] 1983), and Arthur Ramos (1934, 1939), among others, appeared in the first half of the twentieth century. The term “Black Atlantic,” coined by Robert Farris Thompson (1983), was not in vogue at that time to characterize the overlapping, racialized, and cultural geography populated by peoples of African descent on both sides of the Atlantic. The broad concerns of the pioneering scholars, however, were not far removed from those of many of their recent successors, who have made this term the centerpiece of their conceptual project: to account for the cultural formation of Africana peoples in the modern world. Stimulated by those foundational studies, a number of publications in different disciplines have appeared in the past fifteen years, focusing on Black Atlantic religion in order to explore questions of identity, sociopolitical negotiations, and the historical processes of African cultural formation in the Atlantic world (see, e.g., Brandon 1997; Heywood 2002; Matory 2005; Murphy and Sanford 2001; Olupona and Rey 2009; Thompson 1993; Tishken et al. 2009). Of course, there is even a far larger corpus of studies that is geographically circumscribed in particular regions or nation-states of the Black Atlantic world. Many of these studies deal with issues of the impacts of Atlantic modernities on Africana religious traditions, belief systems, and their role in social and political spheres (see, e.g., Baum 1999; Palmié 2002; Raboteau 2004; Rucker 2007; Shaw 2002).

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