I have always admired those who have the gifts of leadership, particularly the ability to create a vision for the future and then motivating others to work toward it. For reasons I’ve never fully understood; however, that particular gift has always eluded me. What I received instead were lessons in what can best be described as “how to work and play well with others.” Whether these lessons were learned in school, in church, or in the home, I cannot say for sure. But no matter what the source, I am profoundly grateful for those individuals who not only taught me, but who also modeled for me, the importance of listening, of sharing, of cooperating, and for being more an agent of encouragement than one of criticism.
I readily acknowledge that there are times when I fail to put these lessons into practice. All it takes is for a meeting to go way past the time it ceased to be productive or for an argument to become much too tedious for what is actually at stake. On such occasions, however, I often find myself being rescued by those who have learned these lessons themselves and are capable of redeeming a situation that I had begun to see as hopeless.
Even in our seniority, there are still lessons to be learned. Perhaps even more importantly, there are lessons in life to be passed on to those who will come after us. And what could be more enjoyable than continuing to work and play together on behalf of that which we value most in our lives and in the life of the world?