I’ve been knocked off-center. National-level politics, police shootings of defenseless citizens, the assassinations of police, and terrorist attacks around the world have all fed my sense of chaos, discouragement, and vulnerability. I’ve become disillusioned. The world is a mess.

What is my posture towards the assassins, terrorists, self-serving politicians, and lawless police? So many of their actions obviously deserve scorn. The senseless violence, condemnation, and self-righteousness is deeply troubling. And even though I know I should “hate the sin and love the sinner,” it isn’t always easy to separate the two so cleanly in my heart, gut, and mind. How much compassion do I have for them?

Too often, others’ hateful acts seed a feeling of hate within me.


If I’m honest with myself, the bar doesn’t even have to be that high, in order for me to be contemptuous of others. When I am insulted, harmed, or simply inconvenienced, I too easily find my heart sliding in the wrong direction.

I have a client whose senior leadership group struggles to act like a team. Because this group is more challenging than most, I find my attitude has slipped from helpful, to wary, to condescending. As inevitably happens, my bad attitude has spilled over into my behaviors. I’ve gossiped within the group, avoided tough conversations, and discouraged others’ attempts to improve the situation. Of course I rationalize my judgmentalism by blaming their bad behavior; if they’d just get their act together, my attitude would improve.

Not surprisingly, I’ve found that my influence on them continues to wane.  I can lead better, but I’m missing a critical ingredient.


The only choice that generates sustainable transformations of hearts and minds is the choice to love. A posture of compassion and selflessness shifts relationships.  Simply put, when I do not love, I’m not leading well. Others won’t give me access—won’t allow me to influence them—if they don’t believe I have their best interests in mind.

As I react to the animosity, apathy, contempt, damage, waste, and disconnection in the world, there is only one solution, and it doesn’t have a party affiliation, ethnic root, or national origin.

Love is the answer. 

It’s that simple.

Every day, we are confronted with difficult people and situations. In each, we have a choice.  Will we contribute to the disconnection and damage, or will we step up and lead to help restore our corner of the world to a better, healthier state?

20 Comments

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  1. Sheriee Ladd Shanklin

    Great article Chip! Glad to see you so engaged in speaking truths and guiding folks to the light!! Best, Sheriee

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more. It takes courage and character to be as honest and, therefore , vulnerable as is reflected in what you wrote. Sam Rayburn asked the question “what does it mean when two people always agree”? He said the answer is “it means only one person is doing the thinking”. But today we have to ask, what is the appropriate way to have meaningful conversations and discussions when we disagree. That is the skill that is being lost by too many of us. Thanks again for your wonderful article.

    • Chip Neidigh (Author)

      I agree it can take a lot of courage to love well, Elvin. Especially when it’s a particularly challenging relationship, conversation, or topic. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Complete honesty and leadership with integrity. Continue to lead by example. I would venture to say that our worldly chaos is attributed to a lack of compassionate leadership. I have seen very few examples of leaders working to build trust. Keep doing what you are doing, it will make a difference.

    • Chip Neidigh (Author)

      Thanks, Carlos. I appreciate your own principled example. Keep serving well, wherever you’re planted.

  4. Chip this is great! I agree and believe that love can conquer all.

    This is great article!
    Good job!

  5. Chip,
    Well said. For many years, there have been others that have coveyed this same message and position- Jesus, Gandhi, and Buddha come to mind. I was recently moved to hear the police chief in Dallas, after the shooting horror, similarly echo this message. I know that many find the simplicity of this ‘answer’ to ring trite and grossly overused. I find this insight beautiful and timeless. Thanks for the reminder Chip.

    • Chip Neidigh (Author)

      Well said, Sanjay. It sometimes even sounds a bit trite to my own ears, but in my heart I know to be timelessly true.

  6. Thanks Chip. Very nice article. I commit to put more love into my thinking.

    • Chip Neidigh (Author)

      Great to hear from you, Daniel. I drove within a mile of our old neighborhood in South Bend last weekend. Good memories…

  7. And in and of ourselves we are powerless to truly love…all the knowledge of the right action is great…and for sure will cause guilt. But at least for me, without taking real time to connect and stay connected to the power of the universe, I am powerless to do anything really about it. I am as useless as a drill that is not plugged or a car without gas.

    Love is always the answer. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Chip Neidigh (Author)

      Yes, I believe that, at our best, we are conduits for God’s love. We just have to get out of the way. Thank *you* for the reminder.

  8. Ana Aguiar Snider

    Thank you for the reminder, Chip. I needed to read this today to reflect. Where would WE be if not for love and undeserved grace?

  9. Chip, this is a great reminder.

  10. Beautifully said. Thank you!