…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World
I encountered two ‘random’ things recently regarding leadership. One was a video youtube suggested to me (for some reason) and another was a poem in Volume Three of Arthur Mee’s Children’s Encyclopedia, that I’m currently working my way through. I’ll begin with that poem written in the 19th century:
True Men by J. G. Holland
God give us men. A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands,
Men whom the lust of office does not kill,
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy,
Men who possess opinions and a will,
Men who have honour, men who will not lie,
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And rout his treacherous flatteries without winking ;
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty and in private thinking ;
For while the rabble with their well-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo, freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land, and waiting justice sleeps.
That poem was written over 130 years ago and it seems to me little has changed. I read it and my mind it filled with the only political imagery it knows, of the British Houses of Parliament, of the petty bickering that goes on there, the lack of ability to find common ground, that lack of desire to work together for a common good – just people trying to make themselves look good, trying to look like a bigger man, or even women trying to out-do the men. It’s not all like this, but there is much to learn – a long road ahead.
Perhaps the learning begins with the Self, as the Youtube video of Sadhguru suggests:
It seems to me that there are people that need leading, for sure we all need guidance at times, but there are those that look to leaders, look for leaders, and expect solutions on a plate. When you ask this of people, or expect it, you’re not taking control of your own life, your own destiny, or guiding the planet onto the path of a good destiny – you’re just expecting someone else to make it so. Perhaps I’m oversimplifying things but often things are really that simple. These people you ask of this are only people like yourselves – with their limitations and their flaws, just like you and I. Then there are those of us that don’t like to be lead or dictated to: By default this doesn’t make us leaders though: just because there are those that want to be lead doesn’t mean all others want to lead – I often feel like, on occasion I want to guide, or I’m in a position to do so, to offer words of help and wisdom (for we all can be – and are – wise) but “to lead” seems anathema to my mindset: I’m not a leader of others – I’m not a big speaker – I can’t preach to a crowd or an audience. Even here I’m only speaking to myself and you, the reader.
Lead yourself. Guide yourself along the best path you see. Others will follow should they need (and be open to) the guidance. But don’t dictate. You can’t dictate to others that are your equal – and we are all equal, are we not, because we were created so – we’re made of the same stuff.
Let those that want to play badly at leadership play their games, but don’t give them an audience – don’t ask things of them, because they owe you nothing – don’t pay them their due. Show them you can go it alone, show them how you can make the world great without them – show them your strong mind, great heart, resilience and ready hands – live above the fog.