Webinar presenter Bobby Kipper answered a number of your questions after his presentation, Spiritual Wellness for Criminal Justice Professionals. Here are just a few of his responses.
Audience Question: How can I believe in a God with all the evil that we see every single day?
Bobby Kipper: Yes, that is a million-dollar question, one that I think that most people who are in the health profession would really be able to answer. And one of the things that I would say is that there’s a human control effort. And we realize that God, is it the higher being? You know, omnipotent and powerful. At the same time, we all have a core in each one of us to make those judgment decisions on what they are. And I think part of the fact is that we have to use every situation with every individual to try to grow out of it. Sometimes that’s poor decisions. So, I think that in all things that have happened for people from my perspective, from my belief system is that those things are for a reason. Not that we can identify the reason that not that we agree with the reason, not that we really understand the reason, but life is a growth pattern. And sometimes to make you stronger, you can’t always live in the highlights of life. You have to live in the mud and the quicksand. How does God allow that because there’s a certain part of us, I believe that’s an individual choice factor that ways into everything that we talked about today.
Audience Question: So, we’ve got a couple of folks that are questioning your difference between religion and spirituality, and I would like to share some other comments. Reverend Collins indicated authentic religious belief has both internal and external effects. Otherwise, we’re schizophrenic, not having some kind of religious dimension is like having only one law. I’d love for you to provide some thoughts, some feedback on that statement.
Bobby Kipper: Well, first of all, I know I can understand why the Reverend believes strongly on that. And I don’t disagree with that. And I didn’t want to come across to say that religion to practice religion didn’t have some internal value. It absolutely does have internal value. But the practice of it, the actual looking, going to church, being involved in an organized religion format. My point is that something that’s a practice is something that you join into. It’s something extra, not the way you feel just only inside. Even though when you go to a service or you go to a religious celebration, it has deep internal value, I would never argue that. What I would argue is that that is the sense of practicing your spirituality on the outside displaying it. In other words, even if people join a church, they have to make a public profession to do so to join that church, which is an external basically process of your internal belief. So, I may have been misunderstood by the Reverend but there is deep value, internal value in religion, and believing in core principles of religious practice. I also want to counter the fact that simply because a person is not connected to a specific denomination or church does not mean that they are not spiritually in themselves in a place where they feel they are or where they need to be. So, I think that’s really important. We can’t downplay spirituality and say it doesn’t occur outside the church because it does.
Audience Question: Where is the line between emotional wellness and spiritual wellness and how did the two connect?
Bobby Kipper: Great question, I think it is very closely aligned in a lot of ways. I think that people who are spiritually connected are emotionally healthy. I think the fact of it is, is that the dynamics of our emotional wellness can be improved in certain ways it can be improved. And whether we’re dealing in therapy, or we’re dealing in the things that we believe can make us emotionally stronger. At the same time, I think spirituality can be centered around the inner peace, inner thoughts of who we are, and what our direction is, what our core values and principles are. So, emotional health is based on feelings, and the way we know, the way we are present in those feelings. Spiritual wellness is basically the core principles and values that we embrace, and it’s a little bit beyond feelings. It goes a little bit deeper, I believe.
Audience Question: Who’s the author of the book that you mentioned, the Performance Driven Thinking something along those lines.
Bobby Kipper: Yeah, well, I’m pleased to answer that question. I wrote that with my publisher, Bobby Kipper and David Hancock. We wrote it together and that’s the one that ended up being a Wall Street Journal bestseller and USA Today bestseller. And that book, it says, I think has a lot of meaning and purpose for folks. And we get a lot of positive feedback on that book. It’s called Performance Driven Thinking, and it’s available in most of the bookstores, wherever you want to go, Barnes and Nobles, Amazon. And we are doing training and we do presentations on performance-driven thinking and performance leadership as part of what we offer, and so I would just encourage people to look at that because that could be another webinar by the way. I think it’s important to, you know, again, your performance is not an option. You’re not here just to be, you know, just hang out and people are actually trying to find their way. I can tell you how to find your way. You can do it through performance. And that’s what the book is all about.
Audience Question: Could you repeat the statement that you made about spirituality within an organization. I know, in an hour-long presentation, you made a lot of statements, I’m hoping it was the one that you said was really important, and really critical.
Bobby Kipper: Yeah. What I said was that culture sets climate. And if you have an organization where the inner characteristics of spirituality, whether it’s ethics, whether it’s values, whether it’s purpose, if that’s not present in an organization the people are ————-. And so, I really believe so many attributes of spirituality and making employees feel valued. I mean, those are, these are leadership issues. I want to follow up by saying I think one of the problems that we have organizationally and a lot of organizations we deal with is there’s too much management and not enough leadership. Leaders espouse these values that we talked about here today. And so, I think in leadership if you’re espousing ethics, values, morals, and helping people find their place. And not only helping them find their place, showing appreciation to them for being in that place. If you do that, we talk a lot about this and performance-driven leadership presentations. But it’s shifting the culture to one that can be very diseased and sickening, where people don’t want to come to work to where people feel like they’re valued. And I think those are all core principles we talked about today in the presentation.
Audience Question: How do, how can I begin to encourage my leadership to integrate spirituality into our organizational culture. How do I even begin to approach them to consider the benefits?
Bobby Kipper: That’s another really, a million-dollar question. I think, first of all, that we have to understand organizationally people are scared of this. And the reason they’re scared of it is as I made a comment that each time they think spiritual wellness, people think it’s tied to a specific religion. And so, especially in government institutions, they are not going to want to talk about those issues because they feel like they’re overstepping. But that’s why I really wanted to be designated that there is a difference. Again, I want to say, as the Reverend chimed in. There’s no question that the practice of spirituality in an organized religious fashion, there are benefits to that, and there are pluses to that. But I also wanted to say that the spirituality of people, in general, is extremely important, and doesn’t have to be tied into one belief system at all. I mean, my book, and I’m upfront with this I’m a Christian, it was written from a Christian perspective. But there are other perspectives out there in the world, which we have to respect and honor. So how does an organization get beyond the roadblocks? I think they talk about it, and I think one of the real issues, I would say is education. That’s why I love Aaron. What you’ve done here today to allow me to really talk about this education. I think we need to educate people more. We’re writing more blogs, are going to be out here. This is going to be a platform for us moving forward. So, I’m hoping that organizations will embrace this, and so we can come in and make sure they understand and are treading on some illegal issue, simply because they’re encouraging people to have inner peace and value. We all should be encouraging that and that should be part of our leadership training.