Getting into this box is what's best for both of us. During your time in the box, you will learn so much, and yet experience so little. It's a wild ride, my friend, one well worth the time spent...and let's face it, you don't have much to do these days anyway.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

To be a good follower.

"In the end, you will always kneel." - Loki of Asgard.

"If you don't want to lead, then you must throw your lot in with a group that has a good leader with a vision and purpose in life you agree with. You must then do what you can to support that team and its leader." - Cappy Cap, Enjoy the Decline.

"If you have nothing else to give, give fealty. It is in every man to recognize righteousness, and choose to take orders from it." - Thumotic.

Hierarchy is a central tenet of the Reaction. Hierarchy, by its definition, also demands that some will be leaders, and some will be followers.

Recently, Loki of Asgard, that charming fellow, made a post pointing out quite correctly that most people, not just women, are made to follow to various degrees. Not everyone can be a leader, and please don't buy that bullshit I was spoon-fed when I was thirteen about how "everyone is a leader in their own regard" crap. Some people don't like to lead, some people don't want to lead, and others are not fit to lead.

"Everyone is a leader" is like "everyone is special": technically true, if you twist the words enough, but made meaningless in any practical, constructive measure. Much like coming in first in a footrace in which you're the only competitor.

Some people can admit they are made to be followers. There is nothing wrong with being a follower. There is nothing wrong with playing a support role. The only problem is with being sheep. The difference is between one who follows, and one who is corralled.

There are multitudes of books, speeches, pamphlets, etc on what it takes and means to be a good leader. But what does it mean to be a good follower? I don't claim to be an authority on the subject, but I've written about my personal thoughts on the matter before, so...

The most important thing a follower can do is to recognise a good leader. Recognise righteousness, and take orders from it. How does one recognise a good and righteous leader? Of course, here I'm going to be talking about earthly leaders, whom everyone will deal with, so it doesn't really matter if you're a theist and your ultimate allegiance lies with your deity.

The best way, of course, would be to play squire to the leader's knight, to observe both the private and public spheres of your leader before, and while serving him. Now, it's true that getting a clear picture of what someone's private sphere is like before being admitted into it is hard, and I'm definitely not advocating prying, but at the very least one is obligated to observe your potential leader's doings for a reasonable period of time depending on the nature and degree of your following. If this leader is someone whom you are going to trust with your life, then observe them close and hard, if it's just for a task lasting a single day, less observation and introspection is needed.

Look up what your leader stands for, how he conducts himself. Ask those close to him and those who are already part of the group, as well, as those distant from the group, of their opinions.

Ask yourself constantly: is this someone whom I can follow? This counts double in the beginning stages of your leader-follower relationship, when you are still getting a feel for each other, but should never stop. If your leader deviates from righteousness and purpose, then it is your duty as a follower to make your concerns heard, for them and the rest of the group. Your duty as a follower is to provide feedback to the leader.

What can my leader do, before I begin to feel distaste for him? What depravity will it take before I can abandon him? How well are my leader's ideals and goals aligned with mine?

All these and more must be considered.

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