What is Leadership in Times of Adversity?

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny (C.S. Lewis)

Has your life been easy? Easy in the sense that everything seemed to run smoothly, without you ever having to face any real adversity, or setbacks? Well, congratulations – you should consider yourself lucky. Or perhaps not? If life treats us too easily, and we always get whatever we reach out for without any effort at all, we do not experience the need for pushing boundaries, or having the need to struggle for anything at all.

Success is hard work.

Not everyone realizes this, especially those who can afford to live in mediocrity. Those who choose not to, and/or those who are forced to, due to e.g. geographical and societal circumstances, even because of family backgrounds, understand the true meaning behind the word struggle, and hard work. Everyone should have to work and make an effort for their living, but there are differences between the concepts of getting everything for free, taking things for granted, having to work hard, needing to struggle, and/or being forced to do something. The next time you want to complain about your personal situation – please spend a moment to think universally, and compare your life to those of others in different geographical locations on Planet Earth. If you feel like struggling, you may change your thoughts after comparing yourself to others. Useful or not, but a certain amount of struggle always brings out the true qualities of people. Have you ever had to struggle or not?

Why is it that countries which we call strong are so powerful in creating wars but are so poor in bringing peace? Why is it that giving guns is so easy but giving books is so hard? Why is it that making tanks is so easy, but building schools is so hard? We are living in the modern age, and we believe that nothing is impossible. We have reached the Moon 45 years ago, and maybe we will soon land on Mars. Then, in this 21st century, we must be able to give every child a quality education. (Malala Yousafzai)

Before responding to this question, please take some time to watch and listen to this inspiring and touching speech by the World’s Youngest Nobel Peace Prize Winner, 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan: http://bit.ly/MalalaYousafzaiNoblePeacePrizeSpeech Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education, is known for human rights advocacy for EDUCATION, and for WOMEN. Today, she is regarded to be one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Advocacy for humanity, equal human rights for all citizens of this world, inspiration, and influence has nothing to do with either gender or age, but with our backgrounds, experiences, interests, spirituality, and things we truly care for. Not everyone has to be abused, exploited, or experience other suffering in their lives in order to become an advocate for change, and humanity – but often struggle brings out the true leadership qualities in people.

Develop Empathy. Always walk a mile in another person’s shoes before judging or criticizing anyone – as you never know what they may have experienced in their lives.

Thank you for taking the time to read, reflect, analyze, comment, for sharing your thoughts and for giving feedback, and most of all, for watching and listening to Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Peace Prize video. I look very much forward to reading your thoughts, and receiving your comments.  



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