You Can Lead a Horse to Water

You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead.

Wait, no.

You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.

I got a brainstorm this morning I would like to share.

Everyone has an opinion on something. It may be right or it may be left but it is theirs. To try and bully, pressure, bump into, or beat someone down to have them believe as you do, well, it just isn’t going to work.

A good friend of mine grew up in streets of intercity Chicago. He was probably poorer than the rest. By a stroke of luck, he was awarded a college scholarship and went to college. He worked a government assisted work/study plan that gave him enough money for housing and food. It was barely enough. He sold plasma for extra cash.

Each time he went home, he would come back disenfranchised. His buddies teased him and called him “College Boy.” They acted as if he had sold them out to make a shot for a better life. Even though most of them were making 5 times what he did while at school, I couldn’t help but feel his pain.

You see, average Joe’s don’t want to see another person get ahead.

It is a direct threat. It makes them look lazy and less motivated to go after a better life themselves.

The “old neighborhood” sucks them back in and many times they accept the status quo.

But not my friend.

He persevered.

He became a leader of a very large bank in Chicago. But that’s not to say he cut ties with his formative group of friends. Now they see the sacrifice he made to be better. They are still his base, but not really.

When you consider the division in this country from leadership to governance to communities, you feel the pull of that allegiance my friend must have felt. Families are divided in beliefs. Lifelong friends are disassociating with one another, the whole theme seems wrong.

Add this Covid 19 crisis and you have got people who can’t even have a civil conversation.

Social Media is the communication tool and has done much to enable and stir up the masses so much that they lose any decency. Folks name call and butt in with their beliefs. Most of the time unsolicited.

Public Health issues are now part of our Civil Rights arguments: Mask wearing over my right to not wear a mask? School in session or out? “Why are you so afraid” seems to be the theme of people I hardly even know.

Who is right? Who is wrong?

Folks, we have lost our personal compasses.

We already know the answer to these questions.

It is a hard lesson to pull in opinions and just own them for oneself.

To not give them unless asked for them.

We all know what we believe.

When has a lie ever been a good thing?

If it feels wrong, it probably is.

Do you share your beliefs in a harsh and belittling way? Or tell people your opinion when you aren’t even asked?

Do you call people names that don’t believe as you do?

Do you think that if you yell louder and don’t stop to listen, it will make your decision more correct?

Democracy is not a team sport.

Yet here we are in 2020.

Leadership needs to mean one leader at the helm of a ship. It is that simple.

In the next few days I ask you to examine your heart. Put down your ploughshares.

VOTE. That’s your power.

Thanks for listening.

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