the one-eyed man is king.
Someone deader than me said that. And it does make sense. Because if you have just that little bit of an edge over the rest of the people you can find yourself a sort of leader by default.
I took a leadership seminar in college in the 1980s. It angered me because their idea of Leadership was VERY 1980s. All “get rich and look good doing it” sorts of plans. I’ve never thought that true leading was meant to be that way. I prefer the kind of ‘leadership’ where you take someone by the hand and help them cross the chasms in their life by walking over the rotting bridges and pointing out the good boards to step on to keep from plummeting.
And that’s why I find myself in the awkward position these days of meeting poor suffering people in the early (earlier than me) stages of dealing with chronic illness. I say ‘awkward’ not because of the people but because I feel so bad for them when in the midst of whatever Facebook or iPhone game we have they start to sing the sad ballad of chronic illness. I hear (or actually read) them saying the things I know they feel. About how everyone thinks they are crazy, making it up for attention. How they don’t understand why a pregnancy or a car wreck or a surgery or a case of the flu turned into 5 years of unending pain that no doctor has an answer for and most nurses think is an excuse to score narcotics. How it hurts all the time and the only minor escape for it all is to get lost in a cartoon farm.
I feel so sad for these souls who I know are not only living with the loss of their life but the loss of their joy.
I used to wonder myself why I was given this particular set of problems. I know everyone gets a joker in their hand at some point in this life. That is, I think, the point of this time of living within the straits of time instead of floating outside those bounds in the limitless warm sea of eternity. But now I can kind of tell that it’s partly because I’m there to gently take sore hands, aching heads and limping legs across the bridge to the place where they can again feel joy.
It’s a small task, but one I far prefer to getting rich and looking good and all those other things some people call Leadership.