You Will Know a Leader by Humility

There is a lot of fake plastic spirituality around us. There is a lot of fake plastic everything. It’s kind of astonishing, how much fake plastic-ness there is.

So how do you find what’s real? How you determine it? How do you identify and recognize the real thing from all its competitors?

I have a tendency to look at the world through rose-colored glasses. (My last name is Rose, after all!) I’m open-hearted and open-minded, and that’s why people like me were probably often protected in caves centuries ago, like children, so beautiful and precious and filled with love we were not allowed to wander in the woods for too long, for fear that we’d start talking to the beasts rather than run away from them. If you’ve seen the recent movie iteration of Dora the Explorer, I’m like her. Able to take on owls and wolves in the jungle, but put me in some Macchiavellian social situation and I’m stunned at the cut-throat energy, wondering why everyone just doesn’t eat their cheese sandwiches at the same table and read poetry.

I just can’t help it? I’m super kind and operate from that place and just can’t understand how people operate otherwise?

But once I figure out that a person is seedy and trying to manipulate people, I’m also like a fucking lion and will rally people together and speak my truth with firm resolve and persevere like nothing you’ve ever seen and scare any piece of shit motherfucker who gets in my way.

So that’s me, darling.

Listen, no one is perfect. I tried to be for a very long time, it’s just not possible because if it were, I’d be there already for all my trying. But there are a lot of false prophets, fake plastic ones, who try to lead people and who use spirituality to do it and see spirituality as a brand like any other and think it’s a way to capitalize. And this is scary, because faith and spirituality are tender, beautiful things that are not meant to be stomped on and strategized about. They are the root of how we find meaning and make sense of our lives. They are the root of the whole shebang, the story we tell ourselves, the operating system we’re motivated by. And it’s not clear-cut, see. It’s malleable. Because life is always moving and flowing and no one is an expert at life. Not even his or her own. It’s out of your control, if you didn’t know that already. You are not in control.

So when someone tells you you are? They’re lying, dude. I’m sorry, but they just are. You can think you’re in control. But you never know what’s coming down the pike at you. No one does, not even the best psychic in the whole fucking world, because she’s not stronger than God, and God is the Essence who’s like, “heh heh, wait till you see.”

Just don’t get looped in with people who mess with your mind, is all I’m saying.

You will know a leader by her or his humility. But let’s talk about what humility is. Because we think humility is sheepishness. We think humility rules out confidence. We think humility is standing in a corner away from everyone else and never stepping into the light. We think humility is weakness.

Humility is what I just told you, sweetie. The recognition of your strengths and your flaws and the fundamental truth that you are not in control. So when somebody tells you you’re in control, or that they’re in control, and that they’re going to take charge and get you where you need to be? That person is lying. That person is not humble. That person is trying to get something from you, something precious.

The truth is, and what we do in this life if we’re humble people, is we help each other. We recognize that in every single person, there is beauty and truth and wisdom. Every single. We don’t look to this particular person, or that particular person, to change our lives. We don’t look to a human being to save us, we don’t become his crony or his groupie, and if he gets off on that, or wants us to be one, he is so so gross. (Or she.)

I am tired of kind, tender-hearted people getting swindled by false prophets. False prophets talk of grand things. They make grand promises. They lift you up for a little but disappear when you fall down, and they don’t give a shit, because they’re on to the next cycle. And there are a lot of these false prophets out there, and it’s a centuries-old problem. So our job is to wade through the waste and the muck and get to the truth, to discern the real from the false.

The true prophet, the real thing, doesn’t use your emotions and your energy to make you want to conquer. The true prophet teaches you how to share and receive. (Receive is a complicated word, I’ll talk about it later.) When you talk to the true prophet, it touches your heart, not your ego. It makes you want to share, to give, to offer. A true prophet makes you fall down a bit into beauty and grace and humility not before him, but before the Allness of Life, and a leader who makes you appreciate what you already have is a true leader. This is a different kind of inspiration. A true prophet goes deep, deeper than you’ve ever gone before, or felt before, and leaves you curious. A true prophet does not try to tie you to him (or her), to tell you he has all the answers and you must come to him, cling to him, because a true prophet is all about your best interest and not his. A true prophet, in the end, won’t really care if you know his name. He’s more interested in helping you, not out of the strategy that helping people builds good will and he’ll benefit from it, but because he’s just a generous creature. A true prophet isn’t blabbing about all the money he makes. Yeah. We all want money. But it can’t be the source we serve.

So when you’re looking for a teacher, or a leader, or someone you can trust and listen to, even after you’ve had your trust broken so many times, look for gentleness and kindness. Look for someone humble, who speaks from heart. Look for someone who is not afraid to talk about what he or she loves, or show love. Look for someone who is not afraid to cry. Look for someone who looks out for the hearts of other people, not someone just trying to stuff his wallet or get off on people liking him.

This is not generally what we think of as leadership, because we live in a world obsessed with power, domination, violence, and money.

Yet humility is the sign of a leader who might be true. (Oh, and humor. Because any leader who has no humor is no kind of leader.)

Also, this is a funny clip from Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

I love you. Seriously.


Photo by jean wimmerlin on Unsplash

Categories: career, journey, spirituality and faith

Tags: , ,

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