There are different types of leadership in every community and leading as an everyday community member is an increasing imperative for our society. This post is dedicated to my Grandma Cornelia, who was an amazing storyteller, educator, and community member.
We need leaders who can model authenticity, vulnerability and stamina; we need people like my Grandma Cornelia. Not only is it possible to be a powerful leader without being in an official leadership position, leadership from below allows for the freedom and grace to influence people on a daily basis in ways that shape the interpersonal structure of a community or a country rather than merely dictate to it. Put simply, leaders from below have more wriggle room.
What I am talking about is mentorship, a mentorship that emerges when people mentor one another as equals. One might say that this isn’t mentorship then, by definition. But I disagree. Every individual has strengths that a fellow human being can learn from. This everyday leadership, this is what best serves our elderly as well as our children. As individuals we are all stewards of our humanity and of humanity at large. The cohesion of groups and organizations and nations comes from our ability to support one another rather than compete with one another, and it is essential in all times. And so I renew a call to all to be leaders, even in the midst of political disagreement. Our children deserve the beloved community.