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Friday, 25 April 2014

An ideal leader

Personally, I am of the opinion that it’s better not to write anything about advertisements of all political parties during elections. Some things are better left unsaid. Each of these parties believe us, the common man to be deficient in understanding and reasoning but I am offended when someone calls us donkeys or such stuff. As elections (at least as far as our region is considered) are done and I can talk about what qualities an ideal ruler should or shouldn’t have.

An ideal leade


First, let me begin by accounting the promotion which offended me. It is said, (I don’t want to say by whom) ‘a pack of donkeys (sometimes dogs) headed by the lion is better than a pack of lions headed by a donkey/dog.’

If you want to call your leader, a lion and the opposition, the donkey/dog it’s okay with me. However, I hate it when I am being referred as a donkey/dog. Election is the only time when the political parties try to ingratiate with the ordinary people and pretend to respect us. Calling us names and expecting us to be gratified that a lion is going to lead us isn’t very pleasing. I for one would like to be praised even if you don’t mean it. Besides, it’s not even true. Why would the lion head a pack of donkeys and vice-versa? Why not say a pack of lions should be headed by a lion not a donkey?

 

Alexander the Great is to be blamed


The above quote is a modified form of a quote attributed to Alexander the great, which goes as follows: “An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep.”

Let me point out some things. As far as Alexander was considered, he would think an army of sheep led by the lion better. If any pack of sheep are fool enough to have their leader, a lion instead of a shepherd, they might be satisfied with any replacement. Plus, once you defeat the leader, you don’t have to bother defeating the rest of the army. Wouldn’t Alexander be too happy?

A pack of lions headed by a sheep are never going to win any battle. The lions must obviously be crazy to follow a sheep and the sheep though has to be some kind of genius to have the lions accept it as a head couldn’t be expected to win against other lions or even a wolf that easily. All lions cannot be dumb so the other side might have an intelligent lion.

I think for an ideal country, if it is inhabited by lions, a ruler needs to be a lion and whenever the people are sheep, they better have a shepherd or a sheepdog and never a lion.

Aesop's take on rulers

 

Aesop told a beautiful story to explain the role of a ruler and the effect of their reign on the subjects.

There was a clan of frogs in a small lake. They were happy but one thing marred their happiness. They had no king. The frogs worried about the fact and at last decided to apply to the great God Zeus, to appoint a king for them.

Zeus was surprised but he decided to humor the frogs. He promised to send them a king the next day. The next day, all the frogs gathered around the lake when something entered the lake with a big splash. Zeus had dropped a log of wood for the frogs. It looked impressive and strong. The frogs were satisfied with the King log.

Soon, they realized King Log wasn’t bothered about his subjects. Some of the small frogs even started jumping on the log. He inspired no fear. The frogs were disappointed at such a pathetic figurehead.

They decided to approach Zeus again. Zeus was annoyed but he promised to appoint a King who would command fear. The next day brought a beautiful white stork to the lake. King Stork was impressive and majestic. There was no question of him being ridiculed by his subjects. He literally ate them for lunch and dinner.

Poor Frogs were terrified. They applied to Zeus who replied they have to face the consequences of their request.

Though a passive ruler is undesirable, sometimes according to Aesop, he may serve better than an overtly aggressive one.

 

The golden middle

It is perfectly true that govt is best which governs least.It is equally true that govt is best which provides the most - W.Lippmann
King Log and King Stork aren’t the only options. What every country needs is someone who is passive enough not to hurt the subjects and aggressive enough to command respect. A good ruler leads the people but does not drag them. He needs to make people ready to be led and wait for them till they learn the directions.

 An ideal ruler is seldom found and in democracy where marketing is emphasized than delivering, such a man is rarely elected. However, democracy gives us the option of trial and error. Fortunately for us, any mistake made can be rectified every five years.

What is your idea of a good leader? Do you know anyone in the past or future who fits your criteria? I'd love to know about your view

About Author:

Started writing for the sheer pleasure of self-expression and continues to do so for the same reason. It helps me understand the real me. I believe, if you haven't understood yourself, you can't help others.

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