Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I have been thinking lately about what it means to be a leader. It seems clear to me that there is more to leadership than simply wielding power over others. Anyone can wield power, but that does not mean that everyone is a leader.

That quality that we call "leadership" is more than just directing or commanding, it is more than determining the destiny of others, although these are part of it. There are two elements to leadership in addition to these. First of all, most people will follow a leader without being forced. Secondly, a leader does not lead simply for his own gain, but for the sake of those who follow him.

Having people follow is an essential quality of a leader. One who wields power, but does not have the respect of those whom he wields power over does not lead, he dictates. However, one who has the respect of people under him will not simply be a dictator, but is close to being a leader.

One definition of leadership included going before, and taking by the hand as a child. These both indicate that a leader directs and commands not for his own pleasure or good, but for the good of those who follow. Even if those under you respect you, and will follow you, you are not a true leader if you are exercising power for your own good, you are a despot. Leading is going before those who follow you, taking them to places that are best for them (whether they realize it or not).

As with any good quality, Leadership is best exemplified by God. Who could be more worthy of respect than Him? Who wields more power? And who does more for the good of those who follow Him? As with all things, imitating Christ in leadership is the only way to be a true leader.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

No news is good news?

I have sometimes wondered why Americans have so little stomach for war now. I heard one explanation on the radio this morning for why the American people were behind all of World War 2, but can't seem to stand a few years of war in Iraq.

The radio commentator pointed out that only in more recent times has there been a continual flow of news from the war front. In previous wars, news came as a result of a battle or large troop movement. People at home were not exposed to the horrors of war every day. They were insulated, and their support lasted much longer.

Today, news streams continually from the war front. We hear more about the small skirmishes, the casualties and dangers. While the news may all be true, it wears on societies patience. The continual news stream certainly seems to contribute to America's lack of patience and our inability to stay behind a war effort.

I think this theory has a lot of merit, although I think there are other factors that contribute to it. Our culture has become one of instant gratification and selfishness. I think that even if we only had the slow trickle of news, as in times past, we would still have trouble sticking with a war. I think that the flow of news is large contributer, although not the only contributer, to our societal ADD.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Strength of Humanism

I was thinking about the strength of ideologies recently, and I came across a rather interesting conclusion. Humanism is an ideal with very little strength. It has no strength of conviction, no promise of reward, and no fear of punishment. Humanism has an insidious quality to it, for it can only survive in a "polite" society; in fact it seems tailor made for such a society.

Let me explain; in a culture where militant ideology rules, such as a Muslim country, humanism cannot take hold. It would be crushed and suppressed. However, in a society like that of United States and the West, tolerance and lethargy not only allow humanism to take hold, but to grow and seem attractive. It seems to me that Humanism undermines the foundation of Christianity in an intellectual society very well, but that it cannot stand against a militant ideology. Have you ever heard of someone dying for humanism?

Humanisms works very well to attack truth in a rich, tolerant, intellectual society. The apparent "freedom" of humanist morality and the apparent self sufficiency of the ideology is attractive to the flesh. When a society is "tolerant" and politically correct, the humanist ideal is doubly attractive, for the culture government do not condemn it.

It just seems so very ironic that an ideology with so little strength to stand against oppression has taken such a position of authority and power in Wester Civilization.