Somehow, after I have clicked my seat-belt, I find that the belt is so tight that I can scarcely move . When that happens, two things may have occurred. Either my seat-belt is caught halfway in the car door, or it is not properly set. I usually then open the door to free it, and if it doesn’t result in an automatic release from the confinement, I lean back to let the belt loosed and reset itself which then results in the proper adjustment.,It is no longer restrictive, but still safely within the permission of the seat belt. My wife actually suggests a third reason for my problem with seat-belts. She says that I just don’t know how to use them!
There is a piece of wisdom we can glean from the concept of the seat belt. The whole idea is not one of confining its user but to restrain him in the car seat in case of an accident. It is conceived to resist and even lock up when met with strong force, but to allow movement when gently led. As such, our wise seat belt is able to measure its response to a given event.
Physics tell us that the stronger we hit something, the more force it uses to respond and resist us. That is why it hurts when we hit something with force. We often react with anger when we accidentally hurt ourselves against something. Repeating, with intent this time, the involuntary hurting action, we kick and cuss, blaming it for hurting us when really, the object just stayed there minding its own business. The object does not have a will of its own, so if we do not want to be hurt by it, all we need to do therefore is control our own actions towards it.
This also applies to our interactions with people. Each day, leaders, parents, teachers, coaches, judges and even presidents meet many difficult situations. The whole wisdom in leadership is to learn to appropriately measure our response in order to get the desired result which as a leader, is to bring people along with us in our project or to our way of thinking. Unlike inanimate objects, we have a will of our own and it is part of our inner nature to resist and push away harsh, brutal, and strong commandeering leadership. It is not necessarily that we don’t agree with the issues, but it is that our human nature automatically kicks against any form of harsh brutal control.
As with the seat-belt, we learn therefore that a gentle but all the while firm and determined approach to leadership helps us get a more appropriate response from the people we lead. The famous ruthless warrior of Israel that conquered Jerusalem in around 1,000 B.C. used the following words to express his thanks for the wise and gentle leadership of God in his life, ‘ … Your gentleness made me great.’ What was the name of this great leader? King David.
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