We all play different roles in our lives. According to Martin Heidegger, a German philosopher from the 20th century, are we “thrown into the world”. What this means is in short that you are born into a past, a past that determined the country, family and the body(genes) you “live” in. What you are, and what you become through your upbringing and education are factors you have little to no control over. Later in life you can “steer the ship” you are in gently. but the current, your past, will take you to where in flows.
The poem I chose for today is from Day 1118.
Some stand in front
alone, brave, by choice?
Or, did the others retreat, wisely?
The first line speaks for itself, we all know those people that don’t hesitate to say the first words or point to a direction for where to go. We all have played that role, some more then others, but even the shyest person one day will lead a group of children across the street, feeling all brave.
Leading a group is often a task you do alone. If you don’t know where you are going you might call yourself brave. If you know where you are going, you just do what is expected of you. You could say that people that follow a leader, specially one that doesn’t know where to go, brave, but also cowards, or loyal.
Is it always a choice to be the leader? If it is in you character to lead, and this urge is stronger then in the other people in the group that is in need of a leader, you might say that it is not a choice. If you compete with others you might actively promote yourself or assume the role without asking, that’s a choice. You don’t choose the trades you need to be a leader, you can choose to lead, but so do people that lack these trades.
It can also happen that, when the question of who’s going to take the lead comes up, the rest of the group slowly retreats in silence, and you, the naïve one, gets the task. You still get all the blame, but without the pride of a choice.