Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Leading Comments

Karen quoted her son as saying:
"Do not walk in front of me, for I may not follow.
Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead.
Do not walk beside me, either, just pretty much leave me alone."

This reminds me of my first experience in jury duty. One of the questions prospective jurors were asked was "Do you consider yourself a leader or a follower?" Every one of them responded with leader. Got to keep up those appearances.

It got me to thinking, and my conclusion was much like Karen's quote. If one is to be considered a leader there must be people following. Nope. No one behind me. There's usually no one in front of me, either, more through unusual approaches to things than to being a die-hard nonconformist. You know, one of those people who is so determined to be different that they look just like everyone else.

I've done a lot of off-trail hiking in the mountains. Using trails is easier; the path is smoother and the down trees, rocks, holes and streams are removed, cut through or bridged. When you find your own path you're on your own to get past the obstacles. This worked fine in Colorado but in California making your own path is, um, a problem. Ever heard of ceanothus? There are many kinds, ranging from resistant to downright hostile, and forcing your way through these miniature forests is painful. I very soon learned to stay on the trail. This was very frustrating.

Basically, I just want to get to where I'm going. I'll make my own trail if needed, but following another is easier. Very rarely is there anyone going the same way, so I just walk. If there's an existing trail I'll use it until it no longer goes the direction I need, and then I'll sigh and take off across the wild country of wherever, hoping I won't get lost.

There's a major fault with this approach... and the fault can also be seen as an advantage. I look ahead to where I want to go and choose the most direct path, and simply concentrate on that. Things that are outside my light of sight tend to get ignored. Distractions, or delights. I've probably missed a lot this way, but there are times when it's good. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of getting somewhere and realize I've not seen much along the way.

Leader, follower, who cares. Just do what comes to hand. Following can be just another way of leading, and leading as demonstrated by politicians is just being led around by perceived public opinion and money. There are few real leaders; the real ones are fairly quiet, and usually villified. No one wants a truly original person in charge.

I wonder if there's a way to walk an individual path with one or more companions. There'd probably be some compromise involved, and I'm not averse to that. Most of the time, though, the compromise is made by the weaker person in a relationship, after the leader finds out which buttons to press to get the responses desired. Yes, I'm cynical. I've seen and been involved in too much of this.

One could do an interesting study of how Jesus leads. He leads because he's qualified; there is no ego involved.

Oh yeah, I've had a few run ins with ceanothus, its pretty in bloom but it does hurt.

Kind of like....a lot of things in life.

You definitely create your own trails. I tend to be a follower too, the hard part if following the path that leads to the right place.
"I wonder if there's a way to walk an individual path with one or more companions."

Yep, we are pretty much alone in our journeys, except for Him, of course.

I guess it's when we get those moments of "recognition"--the "ah-ha" moments with one another that resonate and makes it feel. . .not so very alone.
Just got to thinking about you and your journey and wondered how's it journey...just wondered how you were?
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