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Saturday, September 16, 2006

New Leaders

I am reading 'teach your own, The John Holt Book of Homeschooling, by John Holt and Patrick Farenga.' If you have any interest in homeschooling or the education system in general, I highly recommend this book. Holt has written several books but this is the first I've picked up. While I don't agree with all his points on children and unschooling, they are worth mulling over. I want to pass on a particular passage found on page 64.
"Leaders are not what many people think-people with huge crowds after them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see whether anyone is following them. "Leadership qualities" are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them. ...This is the opposite of the "charisma" that we hear so much about. Charismatic leaders make us think, "Oh, if only I could do that, be like that." True leaders make us think, "If they can do that, then by golly I can too." They do not make people into followers, but into new leaders. "
I could not help but think of Dorothy Day when I read these words. Day and Maurin had an idea and went ahead with it. They attracted thousands of people to the movement, many who started their own hospitality houses, farms and papers. Day's followers led and still lead the fight against hunger, poverty, homelessness, war, etc. Most importantly, Day knew her work was for the greater glory of God. True leaders don't take all the credit, they send their thanks towards heaven and give credit where credit is due. Day also acknowledged the important role of every worker and extended family member who subscribed to the paper. True leaders are humble and they inspire us to humility.