Leadership and service aren’t limited to public roles, according to author Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund.
In fact, she argued that the strongest leadership and most effective service can come from the way individuals handle themselves, day to day, in their normal interactions with others.
In a book for her children, she wrote: “Be a quiet servant-leader and example. You have a role to exercise ... every minute of the day.”
She explained how in the most common of circumstances we can seize the opportunity to resist what is negative and set an example for what can be positive.
She wrote: “Have you ever noticed how one example — good or bad — can prompt others to follow?
“How one illegally parked car can give permission for others to do likewise?
“How one racial joke can fuel another?
“How one sour person can dampen a meeting?”
Edelman writes that the opposite is also true. “One positive person can set the tone in an office or school. Just doing the right and decent thing can set the pace for others to follow.”
We could all benefit by being one of those people who models positive behavior.
Edelman writes: “America is in urgent need of a band of moral guerrillas who simply decide to do what is right, regardless of the immediate consequences.”
This is wonderful advice for young and old alike.