For the majority of my life I have said that I enjoyed writing.
I was afforded the opportunity to write, at times prolifically, during my career at SIU. Prior to SIU I enjoyed writing, first for school and university writing assignments and during that time some church related, scribe, endeavors.
My friend, Margo, who is a prolific writer and who has published several books, inspired me when we visited her and Jeff, in Nice, France, in 2014. I witnessed her dedication to her craft and her proficiency in the discipline…and I returned home to begin writing several times per week…and now almost daily.
Writing is cathartic for me and the days when I do not engage in the activity…something is missing.
Many have asked me if others enjoy my work…and I answer, usually, that I do not know…but I enjoy it immensely!
I was reading the candid thoughts of a university leader, yesterday, and was amazed at his forthrightness. It is not important whether or not I agreed with everything that he said but it was refreshing to read the thoughts of a leader, of some position, that was not afraid to speak his ‘truth’ as he saw it.
I am a believer that nothing gets done in leadership if the leader is not willing to tell those that he, or she, wants to follow them, their honest and real assessment of situations and needs and who can explain a vision to move forward for the group or organization.
I had the privilege of interacting and working closely with several university leaders during my 32 year career at Southern Illinois University. Those that spoke to me as an equal and who respected my intelligence…were ‘golden’ in my opinion.
Those leaders who addressed me in with pithy obfuscations and patent untruths…offended my dignity…and I told them so.
All too often faux leaders work to separate the people, that they are charged to lead, into groups and subsequently label them, accordingly, as to their importance to them.
These leaders, sometimes creatively and other times with a blunderbuss, attempt to placate the groups that they deem nonessential with simplistic stories and fables that are neither true or honest and that are an offense to those that are listening to them.
I watched the conclusion of the popular television series, Homeland, last evening, the female actor that was portraying the president of the United States gave…what I would call one of the most insightful assessments of the current state of our nation.
She mentioned that democracies do not die with a bang…but with a whimper. She spoke of the extreme divisions that our country is beset by…both racial and political and religious and ethnic.
I was listening to NPR this afternoon and the speaker mentioned that race has been proven, scientifically, to be irrelevant to the human condition. In other words race or skin color has little to no relevance to any separation in human beings.
We are all members of the same human family.
‘We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.’ G.K. Chesterton
We not only are alike and have a functioning brain that can assess truth from lies….we also have a inherent desire to be engaged in helping to find solutions to the terrible divisions that exist in our nation and our world.
Leaders who engage us as intelligent and thinking human beings will find that they have an army of willing soldiers who have just been waiting for someone to ask…their opinion.
Those who choose to lie, obviously, to us will find their tenure marked my manic rants and chaos surrounding them.