What We Get Is What We Get

Thanks Quanita Roberson for sharing this Octavia Butler quote. Butler was an American Science Fiction writer, among other things. She died in 2006.

Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought.
To be led by a coward
is to be controlled by all that the coward fears.
To be led by a fool
is to be led by all the opportunists who control the fool.
To be led by a thief
is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen.
To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies.
To be led by a tyrant
is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.

What I love in this quote is that Butler points to the obvious — what we get when our leaders deny who they are. It’s consequences.

What I also love is that Butler points not just to “them” out there, but also to what is unresolved in us, the deep layers of inner work, when we attach ourselves to the leaders she describes. We attach ourselves to a liar, perhaps, because something in us wants to be told lies.

I like imagining a few additional choices of leaders. Hmmm…. To be led by a visionary is to be invited to welcome the vision in ourselves. To be led by a sage is to be encouraged to grow wisdom in ourselves and those around us. To be led by one not afraid to admit vulnerability is to be join a revolution of awareness and awareness and emotional maturity. To be led by one working out their humanity with honesty is to be embraced to participate in this great turning and evolution of human species. And, and, and….

Glad for these kind of people, thank you Octavia Butler, who point to and integrate inner with outer, telling it plain on the outer, yet with an edge of invitation to look deeply within.

2 Replies to “What We Get Is What We Get”

  1. I kind of love this thought … that we attach ourselves to certain leaders because we are seeking what is being held by that leader in ourselves. It helps me think a bit differently about leaders (and teachers). Not just do I “like” them or not, but what might they represent in what I am working out in myself. I can think of a recent situation in which I “rejected” a leader and I felt bad, because so many others whom I know are great fans of this leader. Who was I to say “no.” And my “no” was a little awkward. Because I was operating out of my gut, without realizing what my gut was trying to communicate to me.

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