Friday, August 04, 2006

Knowing What to Do

Where I went to school all of the teachers were beautiful, sang like angels, and had perfect handwriting. I knew just what to do.

Where I went to school we didn’t learn to lead. We learned to be good students and if we fit the mold just right we became exceptional employees. We might rise through the ranks. We might achieve a place where we could lead, but that didn’t make us leaders. We never had to forge a path. The path was always there before us. Do this and then do that to get there and you too, can be where I am now.

I was one of those faux leaders. I built companies and made them rich. I thought I knew how to do things, but I didn’t. I only had a piece, only a bit of the picture. No one had taught me how be on my own. No, no, they let me do things alone, but that’s not the same. I didn’t know that. How could I? It looks the same when you’re in a crowd.

When I wanted to fly, to find my way, I didn’t know how. I was confused. I looked in the mirror and didn’t know who to see. Where was the independent leader? When I wanted to walk my own path I sought someone. I kept hoping, reaching out for a hand, for someone to show me what to do. I’d become a child again. I wanted to go to grownup school.

I had to face my fears, my lack of confidence, my lack of money . . . alone. It would have been easier, if there were lessons on such things.

Now I must be ready because a big breeze has blown through my life bringing a world of teachers. Everywhere I look are people lending a hand, offering help. Folks are pointing out the way to go. The sun is shining down a path.

The daisies are smiling again like they did when I was a little girl going to school . . . and all of the teachers were beautiful, sang like angels and had perfect handwriting. I know just what to do.
−me strauss Letting me be


Dawn said...

I hear the strength and confidence,the simple beauty and elegance of the daisy shouting out from within your words today, Liz. Those big breezes that sneak up on us every now and then scatter seeds that pop up when we least expect it. It sounds like they are appearing now as teachers and helping hands. That Zen saying somes to mind: When the student is ready, the teacher will come. Sounds like you're ready.
As a friend would say: Fasten your seat belt!

ME Strauss said...

Hello Dawn,
I hope this is a daisy that is well rooted in the ground. This breeze is blowing and I don't want to be carried down the road too far away from my dreams. :)

Roberta said...

I've never read anything I could so totally resonate with. Each year I did my best work and my handwriting changed to look like my teacher's, the pitch of my song changed to sound like my teacher's. I squeezed into the mold and then the final wrench was thrown into the works when someone told me 'leaders are born, they cannot be made'. Truly a life deficient in instruction on how to lead.

It's late, but maybe not too late for me to learn how to lead from others self-educated in independence. Your wise perspective will remain in my thoughts and give me the courage to try.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Ms. Roberta.
We sound a lot alike. It was so easy for a smart little girl to be a chameleon, much easier than anything else really. It helped to make me invisible. You too I bet.

I sure know how to act. I don't have clue how to audition for the role.

bradford said...

It looks like you found the new school were the 3Rs are relations, respect, and responsibility. The next level of ecology is emotionography and the main focus is setting new behavior preferences in operating systems and application.

ME Strauss said...

It sounds like I need you as a teacher. You seem to know much more about this stuff than I do. :)

dsnake1 said...

When i went to school, i had some great teachers. They never really taught us to be leaders, but were laying the foundations for our future. anyway, i didn't become one, only an employee, a small cog in a complex machinery.
And this country don't take kindly to failure. So i really salute a friend who ventured to Australia with whatever little he has, started a business, and last heard, is doing quite well.

Maybe i'm a bit off topic here. :)

ME Strauss said...

I think you're perfectly on topic. I salute your friend as well. That's just what I'm grappling with how to do the same thing. Make my own way and do quite well. You give me hope!