Sunday, April 06, 2008

JOHN DONNE: Meditation XVII - Will You Lead?

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To My Dear Friends All Over The World:

The following is a brief reminder, in a troubled time. We are capable of being so much more than we settle for. I offer this excerpt from a sermon by John Donne just to demonstrate what Internationalism truly means, and why it must work if we are to survive, as well as to evolve spiritually.

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee. Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbours. Truly it were an excusable covetousness if we did, for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it. No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by and made fit for God by that affliction. If a man carry treasure in bullion, or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current money, his treasure will not defray him as he travels. Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it. Another man may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell, that tells me of his affliction, digs out and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another's danger I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security."

As for my feelings regarding leadership, they were recently set forth in a post to the INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS Yahoo! Group:

We live in a world comprised of suffering (or blind) followers, as well as some very poorly-equipped, ill-motivated "leaders". The greatest crisis in our world is not nuclear, economic, environmental, educational, healthcare or any one of these things, important though they are.

The greatest crisis is the lack of genuine, capable and committed leaders -- those persons having the ability: to unite all people; to inform people; to hear people and be responsive; to be protective, but not overbearing; to apply the highest legal and ethical standards (without exception) to themselves; to permit assembly, discourse, debate and dissent; to be firm but compassionate; to broker alliances; to offer right-minded incentives for the achievement of desirable acts and ends; to ask questions and to take good advice; to award merit as well as loyalty; to delegate decisionmaking, but to coordinate the decisionmaking process and to be at the center of it; to occasionally laugh at themselves; to admit and correct mistakes; to gauge their success by the happiness and prosperity of the people whom they serve, and not by their own personal financial or other gain; to love the people whom they lead; to be financially responsible, but to view education, health and charity as investments in the future; to be prepared to give their lives, if need be, for their charges; to govern by and for the benefit of all of their constituencies; to constantly re-examine their own true motivations and influences, for the measure of their own integrity and continued worthiness to lead; in sum, to be exemplary Human Beings.

If you possess the attributes described above, you are not only equipped to lead, but you are obligated to assume the mantle of leadership.

Think about it. Act on it. Change things for the better. Lead. A world cries out for role models, mentors, educators, guidance and leadership. Some must lead. Are you one of those who must?


Douglas Castle
The Internationalist

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