Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Give It To Me Dirty

It may sound like I view myself as some quasi-enlightened person. I’m not. I have real faults, real issues, real-world problems. At times I take exception to those who try and pass themselves off that way, those leaders political or spiritual who try to come off perfect, faultless. It’s a trap. As for me, give it to me dirty.

I want to see people’s faults, their struggles. People are human; humans make mistakes. Mistakes shouldn’t take away one’s credibility, but add to it. How can you know and help someone with their marriage, with their kids or on their path unless you’ve been in the trenches yourself? Scars add respect in my book, having quite a few of them myself.

Placing our leaders up on pedestals sets them up for their eventual fall. We have the tendency to want to knock them off. We can relate to someone sharing our struggle – they’re one of us, not one of them.

There are many mistakes in my life I’m not proud of, but they give me strength. They are the opportunity to learn. After learning comes the ability to share with a clear understanding of the underlying meaning.

Don’t get me wrong. I know there are many successful coaches out there who aren’t strong athletes. I do believe you can teach, share and pass on knowledge without going through each and every lesson. There are those who can theorize and empathize without digging a hole.

How different would the world be if the President were automatically assumed to have faults and failures as an aid to his or her job and understanding? Do we really believe the Pope to be infallible? Of the yogis, does enlightenment make you faultless and perfect? Of course not. When people are involved politics come into play. Politics mean you’re never going to make everyone happy all of the time. Not even Jesus of Nazareth could do that.

So I prefer my leaders to acknowledge their imperfection. I believe it draws them closer to us. I say stop the righteousness and just struggle to do what is right. I struggle with this myself.

I’m not perfect and have no delusions toward it. If I do, give me a good shake and pull this out. Our world is not a perfect place, which gives it flavor and color. It adds spice – sometimes that spice gives us pain.

I want to look upon my mentors as real people. I want to hear of their struggles as something I can relate to and grow from. Give it to me dirty. I’ll think better of you, higher of you. Let me know we’re all in this together. Admitting your mistakes, and learning from them is real leadership. None of it is easy, it’s hard and often unpopular. But it’s truth. It’s life. It’s what’s real.

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