Columnist says we are all leaders — like it or not
By BRYCE KELLY
Mt. Pleasant News
Leader. The word can mean many different things to many different people. Some would hear the word and use it to describe themselves, while others may think of a prominent figure in history such as Martin Luther King Jr., Molly Brown, Helen Keller or George Washington. As a word, leader may mean something far from heroic or pleasant to many people. It has been seen in history, as well as in the present day, that positions of leadership have been abused and distorted for personal gain rather than the well-being of the group that said leader was given the power to...well, lead. This often propels the term leader, or the idea of leadership, to mean something that it was never intended to be.
In the Bible, there is only one true and perfect leader- Jesus Christ. The Bible makes it clear time and time again that Jesus is the ruler and we as people are under his leadership. There are, however, human leaders on this Earth. People are put into leadership roles everyday. Whether by law, heredity, incident, force, fame or election, leaders have been made everyday since the beginning of time. Once in their roles, leaders can affect the outcome of different situations, but more importantly, they can influence peoples’ lives and their actions. No matter how a leader comes into their position, people look to them to make choices that determine the course of their follower’s lives. However big or small that influence is, it all adds up to equal the grand impression that we leave on this Earth.
This is quite a power, is it not?
So who are we as people electing to determine the course of our lives? As an American adult, I have the power to elect politicians to lead our nation’s government; I can choose a university to go to based upon the current leadership of the institution. It is also in my power to choose the doctors that lead me to making decisions that greatly determine my physical health. However, these aren’t the only kinds of leaders that we choose to follow.
In the past couple of years, it has occurred to me that I am being led by more than just people that are written about in history books or men and women with fancy degrees and impressive IQs. I realized that the celebrities that I spend hours of my life following on Twitter, reading about online and seeing in magazines and the big screen, are leaders that I have unintentionally appointed in my life. When I say something they said, dress the way they do, or aspire to do something they did, I am letting them lead and influence me. The friends that I choose to spend my time with everyday have a huge influence on my attitude, and are leading me to make choices that shape me as a human being. Teachers, parents, partners, coaches, friends, celebrities, enemies, co-workers, roommates and a hundred other people that I could name are all influences on my life, and are therefore, my leaders to an extent.
We all fall into a category in someone else’s world. Whether you are a teacher, friend, partner or anything else to someone, you are making an impact on their life. For better or for worse, we are all leaders and that is not something that we should take lightly.
Being the big deal that it is, should we not know how to be the best leader we can be?
Yes is the answer to that question, and I know how to find the desired information. Jesus. That’s right, into the arms of Jesus is where we have to go in order to find out how to lead in the right direction. Thankfully, we have the Bible as a sort of guide to being a good leader. With Jesus as our instructor, we can’t go wrong. As long as we follow in Jesus’ footsteps, we can be successful leaders.
By the way, if you are a perfectionist like me, don’t worry if you mess up from time to time. It’s to be expected as the faulty humans we are.
Remember, Jesus is a pretty forgiving instructor.