To be a Leader, Look Deeper

Hello and welcome back to another reflection. Lately, I felt like I had been getting a little off topic from my usual broad postings and getting more specific. I’ll try asking a more broad and external question rather than one asking about internal problems. Which makes me want to talk about today’s topic. It branches off of my piece on freedom where I talked about how in order to change the world you need to change yourself first. While that is certainly still true, I wanted to add another element to that as well.

That element is the outside element. I certainly think that focusing on yourself can lead to good since the world would be much better if everyone was nice. I want to remind my readers about something that we tend to ignore, however. There is darkness in humanity and it will always be there. The brighter the light, the darker the shadow. As cliche as that sounds, its true, and I’ll even be as bold as to say its fact. I won’t say “I believe it to be true” because I believe it is undeniable. Humans are known just as well for their acts of evil as they are for their acts of kindness. So, while we can focus and change ourselves which is extremely important. It seems a little naive to think that we can change a whole world of seven billion minds and backgrounds off faith alone.

I’m not here to bring you to despair though, I’m here to give you hope. This world needs more kind souls, it needs those people in order to repair itself from the damage it has caused itself. For a great change, however, takes a great and empathetic mind. I firmly believe that empathy is the strongest tool a leader can use. More so than supreme intellect, great muscles or even a loud mouth. To put yourself in the shoes of another is way more useful than just allowing you to feel another’s pain. It allows you to think what they think, feel what they feel, and by doing so reason out why a situation is occurring. I said it in a comment on my previous essay and I’ll say it again. Knowledge is power, that’s where the best decisions and options are created.

“Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.” – Plato

I will give you an example scenario. Let’s say that someone has invaded your metaphorically amazing country. You never did anything to them and yet, here they are with all their violence. What do you do? Of course, an uninformed person might just go “You jerks, how dare you!” Then proceed to wage a long and horrible fight with them. What if we stepped back from the initial suffering and thought about why this happened though? Perhaps, through investigating, you learned that the reason that these people attacked was due to a lack of resources. So what? Not your problem right? Well, keep looking deeper. The lack of resource was food, crops were drying up due to a famine! Oh no, what if that spreads to your country! What would be even worse is if during the war, that famine spreads to you too and now you both have food shortages. A bad situation just got worse. Knowing that this could happen and understanding the worst result, the great leader that is you creates a plan. You decide to speak to the leader and see if you can’t work something out instead. After all, as the wise leader, you want to limit the losses your country will take and there’s no bigger loss than war. Human lives are important after all. You and the other leader make a trade deal where you trade food with them in exchange for other resources you were missing. Now you both benefit from this and no lives were lost in the process, yay!

Let’s look deeper than that though. Now that you secured a trade with them, everything is great right? Well, the observational person might have remembered that the famine is happening to your country too and you won’t be able to trade food forever. Soon, you will be in the same situation as they were. The wise leader that you are, you call your new ally into a meeting with you to discuss your current problems once you seem them popping up. You talk about what potential steps can be taken for you both to get through this in one piece. You discuss multiple options, like, asking other countries for trade deals or maybe new farming techniques that can resolve the famine issue. Whatever it is you decided on, the point is, it was decided together. You both looked deeper than the surface problem and considered all points of views and angles. In the process, not only do the leaders come together in the face of the crisis, the people do too.

“The art of communication is the language of leadership. ” – James Humes

My point is if both sides only looked at the surface of their problems and reacted based off that, they would be much worse off. I think that one of the hallmarks of maturity is considering the other side and the bigger picture. And nations and groups are just as much an individual as we are. We can’t ignore the darkness that can surface in humanity at times but we can’t blindly attack it either. It’s real and it’s going to happen. The first step to solving a problem is by understanding what it is and why it happened. After that, we can begin to come to a solution that benefits both parties. No one is going to want to agree to something they can’t agree with or get something from after all. Sometimes, that something is material things while other times its just a sense of belonging. There will never be a 100% correct answer that will make everyone happy. Unfortunately, long-lasting change never happened because of the actions of a few. What happens is the few speak out and become many and then change happens.

So what are you waiting for you wonderful little imperfect humans? Go out there and speak for what you believe in and share your thoughts with others. So long as we have a freedom of speech, we should use that freedom as best we can. Words have power only in the way that they drive others to action. I think that those reading these posts are very powerful people indeed. Since, you know, your already on the right track to freeing your mind and understanding what you want by reading this. Good luck out there!

Have a splendiferous day.

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