Leading not Ruling
As we enter the season of darkness and prospect of the light returning, I want to take a moment and focus on the crown. No, not the crown of monarchy, but rather the crown of sovereignty. Something that is integral to all craft practices is the crown. It represents not just the power of the individual, but also one’s ability to put aside selfish ego driven desires in order to better serve a greater purpose. I feel there is a separation between the leader and the ruler. The crown is worn by one who is led by virtue and duty. A question is often asked in regard to the crown and that is, “What does it serve?” Let’s dive into some of these concepts shall we?
In order to claim the crown, one must put aside the ego and serve a purpose. To explain ego, it is the part of yourself that looks to serve only itself. Sometimes that is necessary, but to claim the crown the ego must be put aside. I am not talking about the concept of altruism which is to act completely selflessly, but rather to act for a purpose and not simply reactionary. Some may say that stealing is an act of ego because it only serves the thief, but if you stand by whatever your virtue is then it is sound. We are not talking about judgement here, merely whether the action claims the crown. One way to ponder this for yourself is to ask, if you were in a burning building, do you save a stranger or yourself? Both answers are correct, but it is your inner virtue that will dictate which one occurs. If you own that, and don’t stray away from it then you are acting in good virtue and can claim the crown. As in a simple example of stealing, we judge that a mother can steal bread for her starving child as ok, but a random person stealing bread for themselves is bad. Both can have virtue if it is at the core of themselves. The decision of right and wrong is personal and shouldn’t be used to justify claiming the crown.
Carefully chosen words are important to use as every word has its own meaning. Even though some words are often used as synonyms they often have a very different meaning from each other. Such is the case with leading and ruling. They may sound similar, but they are not. For example, if you were to ask someone if hearing and listening mean the same thing, most people would say they agree. To hear means to simply receive auditory stimulus. To listen means to comprehend and interpret what was heard. A leader sets the structure and acts as a role model for others to follow. Instead of serving their agenda, they take ownership and responsibility for what is sowed under their lead.
In contrast, a ruler places structure before its people and expects their laws to be followed absolutely. One might argue that this is true to his virtue, so he is serving his crown. Rulers serve themselves and are interested in their own personal gain, rather than the growth of their community. A leader claims the crown because they serve the beliefs of the tribe while a ruler claims his crown by taking ownership of the land. A leader serves belief and a ruler serves faith. Both hold their own virtue and as such, claim the crown.
What seems like a simple subject to ponder becomes quite rich once you peel back the layers. Starting off understanding that virtue is mutable person to person and that whether they give into their ego is what determines virtue. As long as you stand by what you believe, and when presented with a situation where your virtue is challenged you hold to it, then you can step closer towards claiming the crown. Along with that, realizing that judgement has no place when addressing the crown. In the examples above, you can see that both a leader and a ruler can claim the crown even though we may judge ones actions more than the other. A last bit of words on the crown, it is not something of a treasure that once claimed can not be taken or challenged. Our virtue is always going to be tested and it will remain a constant wrestling with our ego both during the light and during the dark.
*Please note each Blog is the unique expression of the Blogger and does not speak for The Green Man as an entity, but rather is one of the many diverse colours that make up our Green Man Tribe.