Leader or Lemming…

I am sitting here thinking about a whole bunch of things but yesterday’s news of a bomb plot got me going in a direction. It has to do with the ability of one or a few people to change the world. For better or worse.

Al Queda is at most 10-15,000 whatevers. They are hell bent on creating tension via terrorism for hundreds of millions of people. They are succeeding. Look at what the free world has to do to try and thwart their every move. Now we have to go back over the security apparatus of our airports to see if they are capable of detecting the latest and greatest son of C4.

There are groups of all kinds all over the world where people are oh so willing to be led. What makes a leader? I think it is a combination of a lot of things but mainly it is being perceptive. Seeing a situation or a resentment that needs to be fixed. Showing a better way or at least an alternative. Are they fixing society’s ills or fanning the flames? Good question.

Why do we have so few leaders? Is it because there are so few people who are exceptional or just so few people even though they have the brains and talent who dare step out of the crowd. What is it that prevents someone from speaking up when they see a wrong? Even better why do we take so little time to investigate our beliefs and mindsets?

The standard today is are you a conservative or a liberal? Progressive or reactive? Spiritual or secular? What does that mean? I think in some ways we don’t want to go through the thought process that is entailed when you go deep. You question the very tenets you have held for so long. Not to throw them out but at least to make sure they are relative to your time and state.

I guess we just get comfortable. Why question when you can follow blindly? Someone criticizes me for questioning my religion, my political philosophies, my positions on marriage, or democracy. They say that we all know how we should think. Huh? How the hell do you know how I think? But Ted it is so much easier to just go along with the flow.

If you go along with the crowd you just sit there and nod approvingly. You resist every urge or recoil in your body when something rubs you the wrong way. Don’t make waves. Why not?

I think we all want to be loved or at least liked sooner or later. Acceptance is paramount. Confrontation sucks because Jeez Louise that person may not like me if I speak out. Even worse the crowd being who they are will follow each other rather than joining me. Do you walk around with that pebble in your shoe and just grin and bear it? Hmmm.

We are entering a political season when everyone will stick to their scripts. We will establish party platforms that will do their best to not piss anyone off or at least appeal to the base no matter what conglomeration that is. Political consultants will direct the chorus and we will all sing out of the same hymnal.

Joe Biden didn’t stick to the script and the world is coming to an end. Mitt Romney shoots himself in the foot for this sound byte or that which will of course be taken totally out of context. Just tell them what they want to hear until after the election. And we will suck it down hook, line and sinker.

It goes beyond politics. Right now we have got to as citizens, consumers and investors think out side of the box. We marvel at how fast the world is changing but we sit there dumbfounded and hope we can go back in time. The way things used to be. Happy Days. We are lemmings who are more than happy to be led. Just let me have my little life the way it is. Leave all the heavy lifting to activists and commentators. I’ll just sit here quietly and hope no one notices no matter how badly I feel inside.

Of course if we do that we will leave ourselves more than vulnerable to the whackos and demagogues of the world. We have well over three hundred million voices that could be deafening to the world. Think if all those minds were put in gear to thinking and solving problems instead of listening to the pablum of hate and fear and doom and gloom.

I am going to be a terrorist to complacency. 10 or 15,000 of us could rock the world. Want to join? Better yet. Want to lead?

As Always

Ted The Great

Factoids:

Lemming: small mouse like rodent who mass migrate.

Leader:One who can enlist the aid and support of  others to willingly accomplish a task.

Leaders allow people to try new things, embrace change, overcome fear and get out side their comfort zone.

Great leadership traits are communication, integrity, humility, openness, creativity, fairness, assertiveness and sense of humor.

Great leaders: Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, Gandhi, Mandela, FDR, Reagan, MLK, Churchill. How do they stack up?

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