At a recent teacher three-day professional development workshop, on the last day, one of the co-leaders told the assembled, “You all were so great. I have serious anxiety. And I got through that with you all this weekend.”
I wish he had confided in us on the very first day about his anxiety. After all, who among us does not have anxiety? I would not have been so hard on our facilitator. At one point, I had to call him out on what I perceived of as his lack of female and non-white role models in his presentations.
My point is sometimes our leaders can be so smart and yet they do not lead from the heart. They lead from their heads. And intelligence is often not enough.
I’ve been thinking about this because I saw this Sioux saying on Instagram (from Meaningful Minds and Mark Nepo).
Many schools, like mine, had Monday off for Columbus Day, yet there is a move afoot to remake the day as Indigenous Peoples Day. That makes sense to me.
I have written several articles about Native American Ministries. And one take away for my research was always this truth: we are interconnected. We are all family. Even the air, water, wind, birds, trees — these are all our relations.
This summer as I communed with nature on a church group camping trip, a young boy wrote a prayer. His message? Look with the heart and not with the eyes. When I asked him how he came up with this bit of brilliance, he told me that his public school teacher had shared this message from the children’s classic, The Little Prince. And so I give you:
And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
See with your heart. Think from your heart. Lead from your heart. After all, we are all family here; your anxiety will disappear. Take the journey from your head to your heart.