For me, leadership is a personal goal that I hope to one day reach. I don’t mean that one day I want to be the CEO of some company or another; I mean that I want to affect someone’s life in a way that he or she grows in one way or another. It is painfully important to me to exercise every single talent, skill and piece of knowledge that I possess so that I leave the world a better place.
More often than not, people sleep under a secure blanket of ignorance and it takes a leader to come along and wake them up and shake them to their core. It is to one day become that type of leader: one who brings a person to a better place in themselves. I want to bring people to that place that tells them that when they see an act of injustice, they know that not only is what they see an unjust act, but also that they can act against the injustice and in some small way, stop it.
In order to become that leader, I need to learn tools that I can employ through my character and through my culture towards something within my community. Through various situations, I have learned that I have a natural talent towards leadership. It is my hope that I can learn more in order to develop into the creative leader that I need to become.
An incident happened several years ago. My son and I were outside throwing a football around when the neighbor boy asked if he could play. He was around five, just like my boy was at the time. They were about the same height and weight and they both seemed to have the same mode of speaking. I threw our football over to him and he caught it and threw it back to my son.
We played and talked and my son, ever the one to speculate, asked the boy, “What if we were brothers? Would that be cool?”
The little boy responded, “We can’t be brothers. We aren’t the same.”
“Brothers don’t have to be the same. My uncles are twins and they aren’t the same. One has long hair and the other one has short hair. One of my uncles has muscles and my other uncle is skinny. Brothers don’t have to be the same.”
“Brothers have to be the same color,” the little boy said.
My son had no response.
The neighbor boy continued, “Look at my skin and look at your skin. My skin is dark brown and your skin is much lighter than mine.”
The neighbor boy is of African American descent.
Neither my son nor I had anything to respond with right away, but my little one looked at him and looked at me. He then said, “Me and my dad aren’t the same. He’s almost as dark as you.”
The point of this little story is that there was a situation that could have become awkward, but through letting the children work things out, I think a funny result emerged. Children are smarter than adults give them credit for being. They tend to work things out through their own terms and real leadership allows any individual to see solutions in a given situation through their own terms. My son and the neighbor boy showed me made that individuals that join together create great systemic strength and that nurturing that strength should be the goal of anyone in a leadership role.
I, for one, am going to strive to achieve true leadership. Hopefully, I will convince everyone that seeking to be a true leader is a noble and attainable goal.