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True Leaders

OPINION

G-Miller-Thompson-2 – By G. Miller Thompson –

Whether it be the line leader from elementary school, student body president, principal of a high school, or president of the United States, leadership is crucial.  There are good and mediocre leaders, and there are great and effective leaders.  These great leaders have servant’s hearts, they aren’t concerned for themselves but rather the people they lead.  Great leaders have integrity and courage to do what is right.  In history, there are several examples of outstanding leadership..

In order to be an effective leader, you must possess several unwavering traits.  First, and most importantly is servitude.  In most cases, leaders are elected in order to represent constituents in their region in whatever office they may hold.  They are chosen to serve the people, NOT themselves.  Too many individuals seek leadership positions only for its luxuries.  Integrity, honesty, and courage are also critical to great leadership.  Unfortunately, many of today’s leaders are in great need of lessons in this area.  Great leaders stand up for what they know is right regardless of the circumstances.

Take Jesus Christ for example.  Here is a man who walked the Earth for a short thirty-three years and gave a superb example of servant leadership.  He was constantly serving those around Him by healing them, praying with them, or even by simply talking to them.  He ate dinner with “the least of these” including cheating tax collectors.  He performed miracles not to bring attention upon Himself, but to shine light on Someone even greater.  He even died for His people.  These people spat upon Him and cursed Him yet He still endured the pain out of love for each of them.  That is some kind of leadership.

Then, much later down the road, Martin Luther King Jr. exhibited extraordinary leadership.  Dr. King displayed his passion for equality by becoming one of the most well-known advocates of Integration in the 1900s.  He had a dream, a vision of a world in which there was no longer racial separation.  He faced this adversity with a smile and a passionate heart.  He led his followers in a non-violent manner to bring about the change he believed in.  Dr. King was a man of integrity and a prominent icon of American history.

One of the more reserved was Mahatma Gandhi.  He led many successful protests against the Indian government.  He protested in a benevolent way by choosing to make his point, yet keep the peace.  Unfortunately, Gandhi is not as widely known as his predecessors.  He advocated against unfair treatment of Indian peoples in such a peaceful manner, his actions are often found in the shadows of these more well-known figures.

Great leaders are responsible for making our country what it was and what it will be.  These leaders encourage us to do the right thing by giving a solid example.  They serve alongside their followers with a kind heart.  Without them, who would make the tough decisions, who would manage crises?  Some great leaders are born, but many great leaders are made.

The opinions and views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Edgefield Advertiser.

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