Deep in the heart of Los Angeles,
there was a man who wore a worn grey hat,
and a green ripped up jacket
the grey beard on his face covered the highway blues
his eyes were red, bloodshot, torn.
He looked at me with a genuine, crooked smile and said,
“You are beautiful, may I draw you?”
as he pulled out his sole possession:
the paper and pen.
When the portrait was finished, my first thought was,
“Man, that is a beautiful picture.”
I said to the artist, “This is great, man but I ain’t got any money.”
He smiled, and touched my shoulder.
“It is a gift! From me to you!”
Then he wandered off,
and I never saw the artist again.
I kept the picture, and would look at it from time to time
to remember who I was.
“Kerkman, there’s a hummingbird dying, trapped in the courtyard.
You gotta save it.”
“SSgt, why did you come to me to save it?”
“Well, because you’re a hippy, Kerkman.
You’re the only one who knows how.”
It was a hot summer, the bird was dehydrated.
“SSgt, I need sugar and water.”
We headed in to make up the concoction.
My Sergeant asked me what the hell I was doin’,
told me to get back to work.
I said, “Staff Sergeant ordered me to save a hummingbird.”
I went outside.
The hummingbird was scared,
others thought it was going to die.
It couldn’t fly.
I gently put the cup of water up to the little guy
It weakly and eagerly drank
After a couple sips, it found the strength to get outta there.
He got his wings back.
He could fly.
Defenseless, the man with the knife to his heart
He felt no way out
“Why am I being treated like this?” He thought.
“I need to defend myself.”
Knowing nothing else,
the man with the knife to his heart embraced the man holding the knife
After the shock, he accepted.
The man holding the knife had never been hugged before.
In elementary school, I always wondered what was in the field beyond the fence.
One time I jumped over the fence to catch a toad that my friend wanted to catch.
I caught the toad, looked at it, and let it go.
My friend said, “Why did you do that?!”
I told her I didn’t want to bring him on the other side of the fence.
She was sad because she didn’t get to hold the toad,
so I told her to jump over the fence and catch him.
The mind is only as shallow as the effort put forth to dig.
Language is a methodical art.
The qualities that encompass the amount of great characteristics needed in an effective leader are too many to name within the confines of a simple essay. There have been countless books written from prestige business owners and even average Americans as to what the ideal leader needs to be. I find that these books often hold the same knowledge and opinions across the board, even the same characteristics in the same order. There are often aspects of these characteristics that these authors do not effectively explain; uncommon constitutionality, loyalty and most importantly, the intellect to understand those two aspects thoroughly.
If one does not understand the concept of his or her own personal values, they lack the essence of what just constitutionality means as a leadership characteristic. It is one thing to follow the rules of one organization and find how to apply those beliefs to your own, but it is the aspect of a great leader to be able to recognize and understand his or her personal beliefs. In knowing your own personal beliefs, you have a better judgment on what to do when you find that the rules you so-closely follow have no definite line. To know the difference between your own right and wrong and to feel the passion that comes with that knowledge is what enables the great leader to understand how to be loyal to those beliefs.
The passion behind the knowledge of your personal constitution accents the loyalty to these moral principles that you know inside of your own being. When you are able to recognize the facts as what they are and that there are no under-lying motives, you will be able to recognize adversity when you need it most. It could be the same type of recognition as when you are in danger and when you are not. The cognitive understanding of the concept of loyalty to oneself and one’s personal thoughts is essential in being able to be loyal to the ones you are to lead and save in the event that they may lose their lives. In order for any understanding of your own moral principles and thoughts, you must first be able to understand the thoughts from a different point of view and be able to defend yourself in an instance that your beliefs might be challenged.
The ability to understand different perspectives of life is inherent in every human being. The intellect involved in being able to comprehend these perspectives must be acquired not only through time, but through experience. Experience in life in general is essential to the ability to see the ways of others. Being involved in the world around you also helps to find the answers everyone is looking for. The passion for life and your direction in life is what leaves behind that footprint that every great leader hopes for.
Through this understanding of the concepts of your personal beliefs, holding your beliefs the closest to yourself with passion, and acquiring this passion through the ability to understand different perspectives on life, the leader who holds these values is the most effective and memorable individual. For your subordinates to learn life lessons that they will remember for the rest of their lives through your justice, loyalty, and experience is the greatest aspect of being a leader. Without these characteristics, one would only be along a long line of “bosses.” As Hunter S. Thompson would say, “Morality is temporary, wisdom is permanent.”
Cassandra Kerkman (Arthur) 20121231