As a young person I sought mentors.
We all need to emulate others, to some degree, in order to find or facilitate our place in life.
For a few years, I found myself so identifying with leaders that I knew that I felt troubled and discouraged when they were troubled and happy when they were happy.
The cult of the Hero…is prevalent in our society.
I was watching the Super Bowl, last evening, and I heard one of the sports casters remark that the patriots quarterback, Brady, had winked at him during an interview the past week. The sportscaster indicated that he had seen that wink before and that it signified that Mr. Brady, knew that he had the game in the bag.
Hindsight is 20/20…and the wink was obviously not foolproof.
President Trump’s followers are obviously loyal and a bit enraptured with their president.
For them he can say nothing wrong and for the rest of the country…he can say little right.
This is a phenomena that occurs, to an extent, in every presidency, and it is disconcerting and painful to witness.
For many years…I have looked toward what leaders and people do…much more than what they say.
Talk is cheap.
When the president seeks to impede and cloud and obfuscate an investigation into Russia’s interference in our elections…and then states his unmitigated innocence…I fear that, ‘he doth protest too loudly.’
It is easy to seek a god that we can see and touch and hear and smell. A god that thinks like we do and looks like we look and is bias towards and is prejudice towards and who hates the same people that we hate.
‘And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.’ Exodus 32:4 KJV
During my 40 years of association with Southern Illinois University…I have lost more than one leader who was my friend.
However, I have always kept my eye on the goal of the success of SIU and the clear fact that our University is not about me and is not about you…but it is about the light and strength and beauty that it brings to our region and our state and our country and our world.
When I retired from our beloved school…I knew that I left a lot of things that I had been working on…undone. Tears came to my eyes as University President, Glenn Poshard, spoke so complimentary of me and my time at the School.
I knew that others would take up my efforts and improve on them and that I was but a footnote in the history of a tremendous institutions of higher education…and that I was the beneficiary of a wonderful opportunity.
‘All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms. Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slippered pantaloon, With spectacles on nose and pouch on side; His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.’ As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII [All the world’s a stage]