This I Believe

Leonard - 67213, Kansas
Entered on June 10, 2007

This is an open letter to my grandaughter.

Haley

I believe there are going to be times in your life when you will be called on to lead. At these times it will never, in your case, be because you are built like Arnold Swartzenager and have no qualms about using a machine gun. You will never be a John Wayne screaming at his troops, “ kill ‘em all, Let god sort em out”. In your life I hope there will never be a time when things get to that point of drama and immediacy. However, no matter how laid back your existence may be there are going to be forks in the road, when you don’t know which way to turn but you have to make a decision. When these times come you will have the most awesome armor-piercing, powerful weapon ever dreamed of. You will feel like King Kong at a monkey convention. You will know you are the strongest individual present. You will have the experiences of your own past along with the wisdom you have garnered of people you respected enough to learn from.

You will have your mind.

It will be one of those beautiful times when you just know the right direction. Then you will be compelled to take charge and lead.

OK, so I know what leadership is and I know you know. I guess the question for a true leader if they know when to lead and when to follow. That is always the true measure of a great leader.

The wisdom to know the difference

Mostly you are going to have to lead simply because you are the master of your own destiny.

Never forget your importance in your travels through this life.

If you are not true to yourself then you will never be able to lead others.

You will encounter people on this journey through life that are motivated to seek your leadership by laziness, greed, ego, stupidity, meekness. If, after examining your own motives, you can provide leadership, then you should. A quick checklist to consult would be something like this;

1 Can you replace their laziness with inspiration?

2 Can you look past their greed and give them the gift of selflessness?

3 Can you tell them the difference between ego and confidence?

4 Can you guide them through the maze from ignorance to enlightenment?

5 Can you inspire them to selflessly exert enough confidence to intelligently, bravely help themselves?

The most important question to ask is;

Can I do all these things without dragging myself down to their level?

In the end game the score depends on what percentage of your life you were the leader of.

Grandpa