September 30, 2017

They're Not Smarter Than You

Whether we demonize them or laud them, we tend to think that our leaders are smarter than us.

It's easier this way. It allows you to comfortably stay in your place. They lead. You follow.

But here's the truth that most want to keep hidden: They're not smarter than you. It's a lie.

It requires less of us if we can imagine that they are something beyond, or less than, human.

The demagogue is an evil genius with a conspiracy up his sleeve. They have a reprehensible plot that is far reaching. Or it just may be that they're dumb and lucky. They aren't any smarter than you or I. You may know just as much as they do. But it's easier to scream seething epithets (whether verbal or digital) rather than struggle for accountability.

The momentary flop by a noble leader really fits into her majestic long play. Besides, they know more than we do, they're smarter than us, more righteous than us. Or not. But it's easier to assume they are an absolute, unflappable moral guide and ignore the missteps leadership.

What if your leaders are not smarter than you? What if your voice, your work, is as important as theirs? What if you could do their job?

You may not think you can. But I think you could.

Is it harder up top? Are you more exposed? Yes! What else would you expect?

What is harder than blind deference or blind demonizing, and yet more noble, is to be honest. To speak up, tell us what you know. Work hard and show others what it looks like to aspire to something better for us all. Wisdom is not found in one individual but in the individual that harnesses the truth known by a whole community that is given a voice.

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