On Leading and Following
"I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." ~Robert Frost, "A Road Not Taken"
Is it better to lead, or to follow? One path treks through the clenching mud and pounding weather, while the other trails behind on a perfectly trodden walkway that is easy to stroll down; the struggles on forming this second path have already been won. Therefore, choosing the latter path obviously sounds more appealing. Who would willingly exert unnecessary energy to plow a separate avenue when one has already been established? Why provoke the frustration?
Because it makes all the difference.
If everyone were to follow someone else, there would be no diversity. Our population would be too concerned with what feels safe, that nothing new would be created. No ideas, no inspiration, no discovery, nothing. A leader can only bring people so far. They have their own desires to fulfill.
Followers seem to alter themselves just to fit in. Lately I've been a spectator on this situation, and it's heartbreaking. People will change themselves into someone they never wanted to be, just to follow someone. How can anyone do something they never wanted a part of just to have friends or "be cool". Why can't people love themselves for who they are, and how they already affect others? "The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm" (Anonymous). Why can't people understand that at some point the only person who's going to release them from desolation and despondence is themselves?
No matter what, the only way to create pure joy in life is to accept one's own being and love everything about it. How can anyone live when they're in dislike of who they are?
This is why everyone should be a leader in their own right. It doesn't matter if people are alone on their own path. What dictionary definition states that leaders need to have followers? Self discovery can be a difficult task for some, but that's why there are self-help books and classes for new hobbies. Everyone should try something new in their life, develop a passion, and apply that to everyday living. One of the best ways to motivate one's self is to create a "dream board" that includes images of everything that person wishes to achieve and be. Seeing that everyday will cause one to work more diligently towards their goals, and they'll happen that much easier.
It's so upsetting to watch people we care about fall into the beat of being someone they're not and suffer for it. We can only hope they'll turn their lives around and be who they are supposed to be, or who they used to be. I wish everyone had the ambition to live by Robert Frost's advice and take the "road less traveled by", because it truly makes "all the difference".
*Photo taken by me! The girl in the photo is one of my dear friends, Crystal. =)