Taking the Lead

Have you ever cut hair and had an “oops” moment, or been the recipient of a shorter than desired haircut?

A slip of the scissors, a jerk of the hand, an unexpected move of the head – these can lead to a clip that snipped what and where it wasn’t intended.

I’ve been on both ends of the scissors and can verify that once hair is cut off, you can’t put it back on

The only thing that can be done is to make the rest of the hair conform.

That accidental slip becomes the guide and gives direction for every snip that follows.

The gap created by the slip leaves room for innovation and creativity as the cropped hair takes the lead and establishes the new norm.

It doesn’t announce its difference. Its presence alone is enough, for its uniqueness calls attention to itself. The contrast is obvious.

The difference between the two lengths creates an uncomfortable imbalance – a tension that demands a decision.

Conform or ignore – which will it be?

The answer depends on how uncomfortable the undeniable change makes you, and whether or not something calls to you within the change.

True movers and shakers arise and become leaders because of something others see in them. They address a need for change, provide a new focus, shine light on new possibilities, and reveal differences that require addressing. Their difference is intriguing and irresistible.

They work behind the scenes (usually just being themselves) while others take notice of their unique qualities and the difference their presence makes. Others begin to follow, to seek to conform, to become a part of the change.

Accidental leaders step in when a gap is created – not because they seek power, but because they are busy living who they are in such a way that makes taking the lead a natural progression of simply living into being themselves.

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Common Ground

I’m familiar with holidays, events and traditions that involve and include my nationality / culture / history / world view / religion / belief system / whatever it is that makes me…me.

I’m coming to see that those of others hold just as much weight as my own do. And, my choice not to celebrate in no way negates the importance or significance of that which others embrace and practice.

My neighbor is not of my culture.  We are…different.  One is not better than the other, nor more important. Both are valid.  Both are of value. Both have worth.

My neighbor’s world view is not shared by me – but that doesn’t make it wrong.  It just means it’s different.

Today, my neighbor brought over two huge plates of food, piled high and deliciously fragrant.  Today was a celebration…a holiday that she and her family kept…a part of her culture.

She chose to share it with us.

What a delicious sharing it was.

What was on the plates?  The only things I recognized were potatoes, green beans, golden raisins and chicken.  The rest were wonderful mysteries that delighted our taste buds and satisfied our appetites.

While her food filled our bellies, her generosity and outreach to us warmed our hearts.

My neighbor and I share little in common – but we have found common ground. She is a good cook and I am a good eater.