I’m a Leader?

6 years ago csegal 0

We, as the Jewish people, are all leaders; we all have leadership aspects within us. Some portray those characteristics more than others, but we all have them-each and every one of us.

What does this mean? This calls for an explanation.

It is well-known that for millennia, Jews have been persecuted, discriminated against, and pursued. And yet, we are still here. Ever wondered why? How we have managed to pull through?

Each person has leadership qualities within. And, believe it or not, that is the key to our success and the reason of how we have made it this far-we are leaders. The way I see it, our nation has never been one to follow others or to blend in; the Jewish people have a tendency to stand out. Filled with chutzpah, we refuse to follow society’s norms, and over the years, it has showed up on our record as a people. In every generation, there are many leaders, and throughout history, there has never been a time since Avraham Avinu where the Jews have not had at least one leader. We know that without leaders, we as people will not get anywhere-we cannot better ourselves, learn about who we are, or have the courage and the strength to live life with authenticity.

Now, one may ask: how can I tap into my personal leadership qualities? Many of these traits are temporarily hidden, and we must not restrict them from coming to the surface. I, myself, have managed to free my inner leader, and the way that it has affected my life is indescribable. Through CTeen, I began to let my inner leader peek out from its hidden place, and over the years, it has unveiled itself more and more.

Being a leader does not mean being an intelligent and fearless being that will never get knocked down; leaders are ordinary people who put themselves out there into the unknown, knowing that they might fall, and are still willing to get up and brush off the dust-even if their legs may be slightly shaky from the fall.

So, what does this have to do with surviving countless years of persecution?

Many have always been fans of attempting to break the Jewish people down into segments of disorganized chaos and to shatter their beliefs of G-d and the Torah, the biggest and most recent group being the Nazis. And yet, the Jews have always prevailed.

How?! It seems impossible!

The answer is really quite simple. When we had no one to lead us, we led ourselves. We became our own leaders, and through this, we spread our inner leader-related characteristics to those around us. This spread like wildfire across Europe of the 1930s and 40s, and through it, gave many Jews, and non-Jews as well, the courage and the strength to keep going, ultimately leading to the survival of thousands.

I know, I know: it’s a bit much to take in all at once. Besides, how does this pertain to us, the generation that kicked off the twenty-first century? How can we, today’s youth, apply this “leadership” idea in our everyday lives?

We are teenagers-energetic, shy, confused teenagers. We’re scared to stand out, but we want to have our own voices-it’s so antithetical! How can we sum up our courage and push through our fears?! It’s too overwhelming!

Going out into the world and declaring something can be unnerving, especially when it comes to standing out. Announcing “I like chocolate ice cream” is a lot easier than proclaiming “I am a Jew” or “I love Israel.” Everything is controversial, and if we speak our minds, we are likely to get into a heated debate or get shut down fairly quickly. Trust me, being a leader is not as scary as it seems.

A leader doesn’t have to be the president of student council or manager of the volleyball club or head of Mathletes. A leader is someone who knows how to include everyone, takes responsibility for his or her actions, and is not afraid to get dirty for the sake of creativity.

We all have leaders inside of us-once we find a way to spark them, we can change the world. So, don’t be afraid to “let the fire start!”

(Did you catch the reference? Inner Flame – 8th Day)