The Choice in all of Us

Courtney - Westlake, Ohio
Entered on January 8, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: purpose

In life, the average person is faced with two choices when it comes to dealing with people. This choice reflects and shines light upon the common animal hierarchy in all of us. The choice that is being referred to is to lead or to follow. For some, it’s as simple as breathing, but others never find out and merely guess through life.

The follower. One, who does what is expected, led on a never-ending journey throughout the vast paths of life. They never question the actions of the one they follow…until the unexpected occurs and they feel panic. All sensible thoughts leave the follower, they suddenly want an explanation for what has happened and they turn to the one they assume is responsible. Savagery pours into the followers veins like a lethal chemical and turns them into something else. They bite the hand that feeds, and lash out at the individual they willingly followed until things turned ever so slightly for the worse. Like warriors prized for their malevolence in battle, they charge in and aim to kill. The follower is a different breed and if they find a flaw in the one they follow, they disband and search anew.

The leader. One who is known for their leadership and does what is necessary to provide happiness and prosperity to the ones they lead. Going through life, I think of myself as this type of person. The leader tries to do what is better for the whole, even if it is not in their own best interest. They sacrifice their time and energy to give reassurance and understanding to all. All for one and one for all is their own personal motto and they try to live by it always. However, life is filled with many dark alleys and their leadership is tested in every way possible, whether ready or not. The leader lives on the thinnest patch of ice. Their job’s list of pre-requisites is a mile long and they must take up their own personal cross each day. They must look at themselves in the mirror and say “I am doing what’s right not because I want to, but because I need to”. When they happen to error, everything they stand for is suddenly and unnecessarily questioned. Being defensive is an open doorway to being proven that much more guilty, but they stand to what they know and accept their failure. They wait for the final judgment of the followers, truly tested and will lead again.

The choice for some is easy, but for others it is as unclear as fog. The followers may think that the leader has it easy. To be the one to always make the decisions and always look like the champion, but this isn’t the case; it is almost the inverse of what they think. This I believe…it is harder to lead then to follow.