Taking a break from working in front of my laptop, I sat listening to a television interview of a retired Lt. General of the US Military Service, Mark Hertling. I shall not delve into politics, because that is not the thrust nor direction of my blogs. But I shall write about my sociological and psychological interpretation of what I thought was very interesting and relevant in today’s anxious and confusing world (as it was for previous generations). The General spoke about “transactional” versus “transformational” behavior or reaction.
What’s the difference, I pondered as I sat at the edge of my seat, waiting for his explanation. And what does it matter?
My take from his comments is that transactional is more often than not, monetized. Transformational on the other hand is geared towards influencing behavior or change, generally, for the better. These approaches apply to not just leadership of government, but also to relationships, be they between spouses, or with families, children, friends, even in the professional or business work force.
It seems to me that in today’s world, we lean more on the transactional approach. “What can I get out of this arrangement” or “What can it do for me?” The pragmatic, utilitarian interactions of humanity would seem to be the practical way of living, though in a base or modified and modernized way. But that’s not what life is really about, is it? The aggrandizement of living is hinged more on the transformational outlook, and maybe, too, to some degree, for our own self betterment in terms of our emotional wellbeing and psyche. The benefit is not just for the “me” but also for the “other” – in the ultimate analysis, for the survival of humanity.
There is much talk about social justice these days, though the issue has been raging in the undercurrents of society for decades. And though the issue disturbingly pops up in every generation, and now very much out in the open, it urges us to assess our social relationships and interactions with multi-ethnicity populations. And most importantly, how we “transform” our perception into acceptance of equality with empathy. General Hertling was most thoughtful in his careful deliberation of what needs to work in the current events of modern-day society.
The world has aggressively taught us materialism. It is up to us to “transform” more than “transact”.
And from my own spiritual conviction – we never cease looking to God for guidance.