Destination Greatness for America: Can We Achieve It?
April 5, 2017
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America is in chaos with the country divided, especially in the political sphere. What can we do about this?
At the book/signing question-and-answer session that was open to the public and took place on Thursday, March 30 at 6 p.m. at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin Library and Lecture Center Dr. Robert Brescia, Executive Director of the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute presented his book Destination Greatness: Creating a New Americanism.
He started by saying that the book was dedicated to his wife and that the proceeds of every book sold will go to the John Ben Shepperd Crisis Center, which is a feature 4-hour, crisis leadership-oriented, computer-assisted simulations program. The center’s main purpose is for participants to learn what it takes to make large-scale, impactful decisions under pressure with very little time available. Participants assume roles of national and/or state leaders as they collaborate to solve large-scale crises. In addition to Presidential-level crisis leadership case studies, the JBS crisis center will be multipurpose, offering state, county and city-level crisis and emergency management scenarios.
Brescia’s book touches on a variety of topics such as ethics, taking care of our elderly, the truth about youth and other major national issues. He is quick to point out that his book is not an academic one. It is a book that is meant to reach everyone in a beneficial way. His ultimate goal, he stated, is to spur people into action, to adopt the principles and values for them to read and realize that they could be better Americans. After the presentation, I talked to him on various topics.
On what it means to be an American “It means that I believe in a constitutional republic, it means that I will fight and die for my country which I have done, except for the die part. It means that I will help other Americans out when they need it, I will come to their assistance, and I will do my civic duty.–if I’m called for jury duty if I’m called to defend. Whatever it is we need more people that are willing to help each other as Americans when we need it.”
On Americans losing the respect for traditions and values “We’re losing these characteristics in large measure, I haven’t done a scientific study—my study is purely observational. We continued to lose the respect for traditions, values, and the principles that are universal, and throughout the United States that have made us great in the past and can make us greater. I’m not saying we’re not great now, but we are not as great as we can be”.
On civility “We are not civil towards each other, we just called each other names when we disagreed with each other, we say so-and-so is ignorant or stupid because he doesn’t believe the same way you do, which is crazy, that’s not what you should do.”
On the media “The media needs to do more reporting of what is actually happening and less reporting on what they believe. It’s too much commentary, not enough truth, not enough facts. Every station, including FOX News, is guilty of this. They need to just report what they see. I think in case of the media, they need to be just more objective, and report on the things they see and hear, touch and feel, the senses and if you are going to do some commentary labeled it as such.”
On Trump using Twitter as his medium of communication “I don’t mind his use of Twitter as long as it used like everybody else to give his opinion on something. I only wish he would do some reflection. I talked to you about stimulus and the response and the space between the two. I wish his space was longer so that he when was in stimulus, somebody attacked him you know and said you did this or that, that he would have thought about it a good long time before a response came.”
On how he defines Leadership “Well leadership is the simple art of influencing others to do what you want them to do and there’s a lot in that sentence because in so doing you have to define what your goals are and your objectives. You have to find ways to convince others that it ought to be their goals and objectives too and the one part of leadership that most people maybe gloss over a little bit, is the ethical nature of it. If I influence you to do something, if it’s unethical that’s not leadership. So there needs to be an ethical component of the goal or objective. So leadership, the art of influencing others to do certain things that you feel are ethical and beneficial for all.”
On Principles, Values and Behaviors and why are they important for a Nation “Very important, because all things take place with action. We’re all leaders and heroes in our own minds, but believe me, you can think a certain way but people only care what you do. They don’t care what you say, they don’t care what you think. They will only care about the visible part of your behavior. It’s what you do that they see and so you have to walk the talk. You can’t only talk, you can’t only think it. You have to do it.”
On what the US need the most right now “There are several things. One is that we need Americans to be as best, as good Americans as they can be. By so doing, you know, you want to change something all you have to do is look in the mirror, me included and everybody in this room. Because we need to change ourselves for the better and therefore when we do that, as more and more people will do that, collectively we will change.”
You can purchase the book “Destination Greatness: Creating a New Americanism” on Amazon.com.