Dialectics and Servant Leadership

There are many forms of leadership: authoritarian, fear-based, on one end of the spectrum; servant, empowering, inclusive on the other.

The former relies on might, deception, and intimidation; the latter on truthfulness, transparency, and humility. The universe, as a living, evolving manifestation of becoming, offers everyday examples of the dialectic of Truth and how each dialectic is part of the other. Examples abound and following are but a few. The breath has an inhale, or breathing in power to fuel life, and the exhale, the releasing of said power, or as I would put it, the letting go. One requires the other. Does not the setting of the sun in all its manifest colorful beauty before the onset of darkness portend the dawn of a new day?

Leadership attempting to promote change, such as person-centered care vs institutional, must realize humbly that resistance is part of change. There is no change without the corresponding resistance. Therefore one can love and respect the other. Without this humility, the best intentioned change leader can slip into the darkness of demagoguery, self-righteousness, and hence not successfully evince the advancement of dignity and human rights.

There has been a lot of buzz concerning servant leadership. That is positive. The struggle must never be underestimated though as it is an eternal one. I’ll conclude this rumination with a potent Gandhi quote:

Gandhi “The path of self-purification is hard and steep. To attain to perfect purity one has to become
absolutely passion-free in thought, speech, and action; to rise above the opposing currents of
love and hatred, attachment and repulsion. I know that I have not in me as yet that triple
purity, in spite of constant ceaseless striving for it.”

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