The Leader is You…writes Rabbi Laibl Wolf

February 11, 2015 by J-Wire
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Leadership today is under attack – and for very good reason. It doesn’t lead.

Rabbi Laibl Wolf

Rabbi Laibl Wolf

“The true leader nurtures the wise soul, probes the seeking mind, and emboldens the brave heart – to realize the highest potential in all people, and in oneself.”

– Joseph Jaworski, Synchronicity-The Inner Pathy to Leadership (Berret-Koehler)

It responds – not initiates, and even then, timidly, defensively, and reluctantly. Roosevelt took two years to respond to Nazi gas chambers. At this very moment, world leaders watch as a cynical superpower rapes Ukraine, as a malicious Ayatollah builds atomic reactors in Iran, as blood thirsty misfits, led by ego-laden terrorist leaders, kidnap and rape hundreds of school girls in Africa, as Islamist ideologues manipulate vulnerable poverty-stricken Middle Eastern Arabs – all brought alarmingly into your living room courtesy of a commercially conniving media.

Our global response? Let the locals do the dirty work. We will drop a few bombs from the air to show ‘solidarity’. And ISIS laughs mockingly as it beheads and burns people alive, attracting thousands of maladjusted, spiritually wounded, humans to ‘the cause’.

But as French political thinker and historian, Alexi-Charles-Henri Clerel de Tocqueville wryly notes: We get the leaders we deserve. So our superficial coffee-table banter about ‘our terrible leaders’ is sorely amiss. Perhaps Walt Kelly’s clever paraphrase of Oliver Hazard Perry’s famous dispatch after having won the battle of Lake Erie is far closer to the truth: We have discovered the enemy and the enemy is us!

Leaders are a reflection of the will, courage, and wisdom of the people – no more and no less. Our leaders are you and I looking into our personal mirror. As Jaworsky notes in the opening quote above, leaders reflect our soul, mind, heart and body.

Soul: People who don’t live deeply and spiritually don’t feel the sense of connectedness that all human beings must share with each other and planet earth. Therefore they are not moved by others’ pain and exploitation.

Mind: People who don’t address the hard questions of morality and ethics, right and wrong, proffering sophist-laden relativistic meanderings, conveniently overlook social misbehaviours to the point that barbarity occurs in front of their noses.

Heart: People whose hearts are stoned, and feelings deadened, cannot draw on motivation to risk personal mental and bodily comfort for the sake of a higher good. They turn a blind eye to suffering of others.

Body: People who are not prepared to die for the safety of their home, people, and country, will produce wealthy, articulate leaders whose oratory skills are in inverse proportion to their collective courage.

These mal-attributes apply to Presidents and Prime Ministers – too cowardly to lead their people to fight for what is right. They apply to Jewish Rabbis and Christian clergy who remained silent and ‘private’ when child molestation was taking place ‘on their watch’. They apply to Moslem leaders who are silent in the face of followers who preach violent Jihad across the globe in the name of Mohammed. They apply to you and me when we hide behind the illusion of anonymity.

The great ancient Mishnaic work of ethics and wisdom ‘Pirkei Avot’ provides an important consciousness teaching: Reflect on three things…: Know what is above you – a seeing eye, a hearing ear, and all your deeds recorded in a book. (Chapt 2:1) Every thought word and behaviour leaves a resonance in the cosmos. Nothing is lost and nothing is forgotten – ‘the law of conservation of spiritual energy’. You leave your signature in the fabric of space and time. And destiny connects those dots and produces – our leaders.

Think hard – the leader is you.

The writer welcomes feedback. Leave a comment below.

  • Rabbi Laibl Wolf, Dean, Spiritgrow – The Josef Kryss Center, Australia



3 Responses to “The Leader is You…writes Rabbi Laibl Wolf”
  1. Eleonora Mostert says:

    Dearest Rabbi Laibl Wolf,
    Could you PLEASE send a copy of your Words of Wisdom to all the Media Programs, Sunrise ,Weekend Sunrise, Today Show and News Outlets. They need all the help they can get. I for one wait with abatted breath for your Words of Wisdom. Thank you.

  2. Liat Nagar says:

    I meant to comment on the view that we get the leaders we deserve. I think it’s a lot more complicated than that, most especially when you consider leaders throughout the ages, particularly in the case of oppressive regimes. Eventually, of course, oppressive regimes can be over-thrown, which gets back to the people and each individual within that framework. However, often there are other elements involved that make getting the leader you deserve more than difficult. It’s easier to get the leader you deserve within a democratic process, however, there can be a paucity of talent to choice from and this also is informed by different things, even the era one lives in.

  3. Liat Nagar says:

    I very much believe that every thought, word and act resonates in the cosmos and is not lost. I believe it even when alone, where there is no possibility of a witness to it. One doesn’t need a witness to it. Nothing is a waste of time or effort, although it can sometimes take months or years to recognise that, be surprised and pleased by finding that connection. That is a beautiful thing to know because it defeats despair. Spiritual energy is all-important and I feel it even in the opening of a flower.
    Thank you for reminding me.

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