Clear Confident Leader Weekly Observer, Issue #13
From the Greenbelt of Boise, Idaho, Calm along the river
One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes... and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.
– Eleanor Roosevelt
The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Be the change that you wish to see in the world. – Mahatma Gandhi
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it. – Maya Angelou
I’ve long enjoyed learning from history and engineering. For me they are about how we arrived at our current time and place, and how we as people create solutions for a better future. Walking along the Boise River this weekend, it felt like the last moment of sun drenched calm, before the start of winter. With the end of the two-year U.S. election saga, I sense hurricane winds of change breaking on our shores. To paraphrase Thomas Paine, from American Crisis, these are times that can try our souls.
We will be challenged by the injustices that Martin Luther King, Jr observed are the threats to justice everywhere. Our responsibility as Eleanor Roosevelt said, are the choices we make. Do we react out of fear or anger, or respond by choosing to work toward a greater purpose that we care deeply about? What do we as individual people choose to stand for, as we experience countries stepping back from unions (Brexit), and preparing to put up walls (U.S.)?
As one of my teachers says, we are the authors of our future, and the words we choose will create our worlds. We could pull back and see the world as flat again. Or we could think of it as a globe cycling around the sun, and wait for the next cycle. A third alternative is seeing the world as a dynamic sphere, following the sun as we spiral through space in an expanding universe, full of possibilities. We have in front of us an opportunity to choose our response and what we dedicate ourselves to. I hope for a secure and livable world, and am dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
As I work with different groups I frequently experience people shying away from calling themselves a “Leader”. Yet everyone I talk with “Leads” their own life, is a “Role Model” for someone, and serves as a “Guide” for family members, friends, and in their groups and organizations in some specific way. As Mahatma Gandhi, offers, now is a time to be the change we wish to see in the world. Now is a time to lead. Here are six questions to consider:
- What do you care about?
- What do you want to create or contribute to?
- What will you commit and dedicate yourself to pursuing?
- What will most help you be the change you wish to see in the world?
- How will you develop your abilities and access resources to assist you?
- What helps you be resilient in the face of defeats, to not be defeated?
One of my favorite stories is of Mother Teresa being asked by someone how to contribute to world peace. Her response was to go home and love your family. My takeaway from the story is, by starting with ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and our communities we create a ripple that goes much farther than we think possible. Starting at home can sometimes be the hardest thing to do, as it calls for us to face ourselves first, know who we are and what we can rise from. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, we must do the things we think we cannot do. For, “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Let’s create a better future today!