INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 25: “So do I wish I were to be king? That is not a question I ask myself. I ask myself; Would I be a good king? Would I be quick witted and generous of spirit and full of that boundless energy? Or would I be clumsy and stupid and dulled by my own prejudices? I try to be a good man, since I am alive at all, and hope that that teaches me what I would need to know if I was ever faced with a higher challenge.”― Sharon Shinn
This quote is new for me, but it made me think a lot. I hear such high levels of criticism for our current leaders, which is nothing new. People always find fault with those who have positions of power or fame. We look at them through a lens of judgment and make critiques that are based on opinions. Seldom do we ask ourselves what WE would do in the same place.
Ego is an ugly thing to view. Great leaders are those who do not talk about themselves, but lead in ways that are beneficial for the greater good. It is not personal. I want to be that. I don’t know how well I could remove myself from outcomes and lead others. It does not appeal to me, but I would rather see how it would be for me than to critique others. That is too easy and not a spiritual path.
I have had opportunities to be a leader in certain settings. It was more of a challenge than I expected. Kind of like being a parent who does not rule by that old standard, “Do as I say, not as I do.” That is another form of tyranny that is not good leadership.
My belief is that leaders are here to show, by example, that they are human and subject to error, as well as to consider all others before themselves. It is a form of service at a higher level. They are “public servants” in the highest sense. When they are self-involved and Ego is the leader, we are apt to find it distasteful and uncomfortable to follow them.
The mirror of arrogance is horrible to look into. Our culture of vanity and Ego is an ugly one. Let’s hope it becomes a more service-oriented one again someday soon. Meanwhile, I will continue to look at why it is so uncomfortable when I look into the mirror of Ego. That is my job in the steps. Not to look around and criticize others. Mine is a full-time job, for sure.