Too Many Chiefs

I’m not sure what propels some people to feel like they must control others and I’m not sure what causes others to feel like the person controlling them knows more than they do, but my experiences in life have taught me that no matter where I go, whether it’s to a church of any demonination, to a pow-wow, on the job, to a writer’s convention or even to work, there will always be someone who feels the need to “control”,  or to be in power. A friend of mine used to call it the Moses Complex. He said that some people feel the need to lead. They love the rush they get from seeming important or making others think they have more knowledge. The ironic thing is that most often these people are not the most qualified to be in a position of power, but they are good at intimidating and bluffing others. Sometimes they do have knowledge and qualifications but they are so domineering that they would gladly suck the life energy right out of their followers. They are like spiritual vampires. They manipulate and intimidate others into subjection. They do not want members of the clan, congregation or group to know more than they do. I once heard such a leader say that nobody in his congregation could surpass him in knowledge. He really needed to just get over himself and face the fact that he wasn’t the only one who could read or pray or sing or listen to the Spirit.

I’m just rambling a bit here, but yesterday I met two men. One was a “leader” because he was in position. He was the chief of a band. He enjoyed having others recognize him as important and defer to him before making decisions. He knew more than those in his group and wanted to make sure that everyone who aligned themselves with him knew that he knew more. I do not know how he got to be a chief, because he obiviously had not taken lessons from the greats who taught and believed that a chief must be willing to do more than he asks of his people. He did not possess a spirit of humility but of “look at me…I’m in charge. I’m the spiritual one. I know the secrets of the elders and you do not, so I am better than you are and if you do not do what I say, then I will get angry and walk away from you to show that you are not worthy to be in my presence.” Well, I guess I’m not. I cannot align myself with such a person. The other was a “leader” because he had walked a long, hard road and had found both peace and victory in his life. People just automatically gravitated toward him and looked up to him. When he spoke, humble, humorous, soft and full of wisdom, everyone listened.His hope was to share with others and make their journeys better. He had a sense of humor and was not “self-important”. Rather, he saw himself as a fellow traveler, hoping to learn as he mentored. I found myself really listening to him, even asking him questions so that I might learn more. He was a joy to meet. The beautiful thing is that there are others like him, diamonds in a box of rocks, and these people walk among us daily.

I write this because it’s too easy to let the debris and dust from the rocks cover the diamonds. The rocks are so many and the diamonds so few that we often overlook the diamonds because of a big rock, boasting self-importance.  But the diamonds are out there. So, I make this note to myself and I share it with you: Don’t let some power hungry mongrel dictate who you are, whether they be a minister, a chief, a bossy neighbor, a local politician, etc. Do what you have to do to survive if they are in charge of you, but when you get away from them, stay away. Don’t bring them home with you by talking about them over and over and dwelling on their “jerkiness.” Realize that they are have something missing within themselves and are over compenstating.

I leave my blog today with these 7 little snippets:

1. Not everyone who is bossy is truly a boss.

2. Not everyone who is in charge can really take charge.

3. Not everyone the masses vote for is worthy of the office they are given.

4. Never follow a leader who cannot follow.

5. Seek what is true, believe what is true, act on what is true and you will discover yourself and it is to yourself that you must ultimately be true.

6. It is better to be a wandering drifter than to be controlled by another’s whims.

7. God never intended for you to live your life by someone else’s blueprints.

4 thoughts on “Too Many Chiefs

  1. A man I’ve once known was asked who was in charge. He replied, “Not me.”

    “But aren’t you the manager here?” the man pursued.

    “Yes, but I am only in control.”

    I laughed.

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