I have a friend that sometimes annoys the hell out of me when she says:
“That person is such a follower, they’re not a leader, they just do what ever that other guy wants. They can’t think for themselves.”
The names have been removed to protect the innocent.
I’m sure you’ve heard this before and sometimes I even question myself and wonder where I fall in this scenario. Am I a leader? Or a follower? Do I just take orders and advice blindly, or do I put some thought into it first? Most recently, while pondering the cracks in my ceiling before falling asleep, (okay there are none, but it sets a mood) I realized it’s beneficial to be a little bit of both. We should know when it’s best for us to let our inner leader shine and take command, and know when to let someone else do the driving, be the follower we need to be, and learn a thing or two. Sometimes we might even realize that we’re following to a point that we’ve stopped thinking for ourselves, and that’s not a good thing. When we do that, we give up a part of who we are, a slice of our identity, a hand it over to someone that may or may not know what’s in our best interest. That sort of following can be seen in many areas of society, most notably in religious organizations and political affiliations.
This past week it seemed like Americans took a huge leap backwards in time, and in human progress. We saw scenes unfold on live television that we thought were only reserved for documentaries and high-school history class. We heard angry words from the mouth of our elected leader, the President of The United States of America, refusing to condemn those representing a way of thinking which humanity attempted to extinguish in World War II. So many lives lost on a global scale, so many families broken… all disgraced by someone that has proven to be the antithesis of leadership and what it means to hold the office. Our nation is angry and justifiably so. We are all witnessing the very destruction of American principles and freedoms we have come to cherish as citizens of this country. In the processes, we’re also seeing that hate and vitriol is contagious, and we’re turning on our own friends and neighbors, accusing them of putting this monster in office, all too eager to pick up the first stone and cast it. We’re also forgetting American values, like democracy and the freedom to choose, in an effort to assign blame. Ironically, the words of Hillary Clinton are more relevant now than ever, “We’re stronger together.”
One Saturday morning in July, I was making breakfast, watching the small TV in the corner of the kitchen. My toast was ready, the eggs were almost done and I was watching the news, something I rarely do anymore. They began interviewing people that were waiting in line at Florida International University to see Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton and Senator Tim Kaine at a campaign rally. They mentioned in the story that you could still get a ticket to see her and I began thinking if I should go or not. The university was maybe a 20 minute drive away at best and perhaps I would make it in time if I left right away. She wasn’t going to speak for another couple of hours at least. I thought maybe I would attempt to get a ticket online and see what happened. For sure it would be fully booked and I would have an excuse not to go and that would settle my indecision. Well it wasn’t and I printed out my ticket rather quickly and easily. I don’t know why I was so stressed about going. I wanted to be a part of history and I wanted to meet the woman I’d be voting for…once again.