“It is not revolutions and upheavals that clear the road to new and better days but… someone’s soul, inspired and ablaze” (Pasternak in Holladay, 1999). Such inspired leaders are rare, but memorable in the annals of history. Komives (2016) introduces the concept of a ‘change agent’ who “serves as a catalyst for a group, stirring people up [for] positive change” (p. 398). These leaders either create or inherit a change potential and have the ability and power to lead that change effectively. The internal motivation of someone who is ‘inspired and ablaze’ with passion can affect change in the most stubborn of situations.
“It is not revolutions and upheavals that clear the road to new and better days but… someone’s soul, inspired and ablaze.”
William Wilberforce is a wonderful example of a truly inspired soul, determined to complete the tasks he saw laid out for him by God. We are all familiar with his crucial role in leading the charge toward the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire, but few of us really know his whole story and what depth of character he exhibited in every area of his life. As was oft repeated in class, the ability to create real change has the prerequisite of first changing and developing one’s self. Continue reading “Wilberforce: Agent of Change”
I mean the act of “thinking of others.” We all do it. Walk past a person on the street who is shivering and hungry and think “Oh poor soul, who’s going to feed them?” Or, for the people who never walk on streets like that, when your friend has an upcoming birthday and you think “Ah, they would love this extravagant gift!” but when the special day comes, you realize that you haven’t left yourself time to make that thought a reality and they end up getting a gift card–if you have time to get to the store. It’s all forgiven, though, because it’s the thought that counts!
Good King Louis XVI also lived by that philosophy, just wanting to “do well by his people” (Burns, 2007, p. 100). History shows how that thought counted… In 1789, the 35th year of his reign, the bloody French Revolution began. I suppose three and a half decades of hierarchical privilege wasn’t long enough for him to make that thought a reality for his people. Continue reading “That Thing People Do…”
The story of Ferdinand de Lesseps was an inspiring read. The completion of the Suez canal began with his vision to literally change the world. Yet even his great passion for the project could not alone support the change he sought. First, he petitioned the government of England to back his venture. When that failed, he attempted to stir the emotions of society and foster popular support. When that failed, he struck out on his own and, with the blessing of an Egyptian official, sold shares to the public to fund the canal (Burns, 2003).
“Pulsifer shares the story of a wise monk who said:
When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could have indeed changed the world (Komives, 2012, p.105).”
This monk recognized the impossibility for the average person to change the world without first Continue reading “Change Begins With Us”
Are you in control of your own destiny?
Philosophers throughout history would say not. James Burns (2003) analyzes the thinking of men such as Karl Marx, Leo Tolstoy, and Herbert Spencer—19th century philosophers from Germany, Russia, and Britain respectively—in his book Transforming Leadership. Whatever our character traits might be or whatever guiding principles we adhere to, “life happens,” as it were. Endless happenings affect our daily lives. Some we can control or mitigate for while others are inevitable.
As Burns (2003) points out, “if these are unsettling questions in our private lives, imagine how complex and urgent they can be in society as a whole, Continue reading “Slaves of History”
Goodbye Mother, Goodbye Father!
Off I head to be a world changer!
With all you’ve taught me here I go
Christ’s love and light everywhere I’ll sow.
Transfer year, joining clubs galore.
No time for roommates, I’m out the door.
I’m perfectly angelic, purposefully naïve.
I know I’m ‘better-than’ whatever they believe. Continue reading “Change Poem”