Leadership means that you are in the position of a leader. You have the power or ability to lead other people. You could be the leader of a particular group or organization. Being a leader has a great deal of responsibilities that go along with it, and you can be either a good leader or a bad leader. When thinking of leadership, I am reminded of some great leaders in history. Some are good leaders, and some are bad. One great leader that I can think of is Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks was a Civil Rights activist from Tuskegee, Alabama. During the time of segregation she boarded a city bus, sat down in the "white" section, and refused to surrender her seat to a white person. This caused a city-wide boycott that eventually led to the removal of the segregation in public facilities. She is just one example of a great leader because she helped to end something that was descriminatory to the African-American race. Another great leader was Abraham Lincoln, our sixteenth President. He is known for his efforts and success in freeing the slaves during his presidency. During 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared slaves in the Confederacy forever free. An example of a bad leader would be the Austrian named Adolf Hitler. He is known for the slaughter of approximately six million Jewish people just because he thought they were inferior humans. When you're in the position of a leader, do you want to be a good one or a bad one? The choice is YOURS.
Cooperation means that you are working together with one or more other people to accomplish a goal or task. Many jobs require cooperation in some form or fashion. It is important to learn how to cooperate with others, even those that you don't like, in order to complete the task. Baseball, basketball, football, and volleyball teammates all must cooperate with each other to be able to hopefully achieve the goal of winning the game or tournament. James Cash Penney, founder of J.C. Penney, once stated "Honor bespeaks worth. Confidence begets trust. Service brings satisfaction. Cooperation proves the quality of leadership." When you are asked to join with another person or group of persons to succeed in accomplishing something, do you try to be the best teammate you can be?
Tolerance means that you accept the feelings, habits, or beliefs of others even though they are different from your own. J. K. Rowling, an author, once stated, "Most important in a friendship? Tolerance and loyalty". Albert Einstein, famous for his theory of relativity, stated, "Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population." Do you show tolerance for others when they voice opinions different from your own?
The gift of giving
Courage means that you have the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Robert Louis Stevenson, a famous novelist, essayist, and poet, once stated, “Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.” The famous female aviator Amelia Earhart said, "Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things; knows not the livid loneliness of fear." Andrew Jackson, our 7th president, is known as stating, "One man with courage makes a majority." Without courage, Moses could not have led the Israelites out of bondage from the Egyptians. Harriet Tubman could not have helped free so many slaves if it had not been for her courage and determination. Think on your life for a moment. Has there ever been a time that you needed courage to face a difficulty? All persons encounter times in their life when they must have courage to perservere, no matter how great or small the circumstance.
Teamwork means that two or more people are working together to complete a task. Our 32nd U.S. President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, once stated, “Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.” An African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” A Chinese proverb states, “When two are of one mind, their strength can cut gold." When thinking of teamwork, I am reminded of sports teams. Each person that is on the team is working together with all the teammates to achieve one goal...to WIN!!! If one or two teammates are not putting forth their absolute best effort each and every time they are practicing or competing, then their goal is less likely to be achieved. Can you think of another instance that teamwork is necessary?
Respect means to have regard and appreciation for a person or item, such as the American flag. We should all have respect for others and show it to them daily. Abraham Lincoln, our sixteenth President, respected others...even his enemies. One way that he showed his respect is by freeing the slaves during his presidency. Confucius said "Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts? Mark Twain stated, "I can live for two months on a good compliment." You should have respect for yourself, your family, your teacher, your principal, other people's belongings (property), differences that others may have from you, and the environment. If you treat someone with respect, they are more than likely going to reciprocate. Do you show respect for yourself? What about for others? How do you show it?
Responsibility means being responsible, or accountable, for something or someone. Booker T. Washington, an American political leader, stated "Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him." Gene Bedley, a National Educator of the Year, stated "Responsibility finds a way. Irresponsibility makes excuses!" An example of one responsibility that adults have is the responsibility to work and provide for themselves and their children, whereas an example of a responsibility for students is to follow directions. At home, a student may have the responsibility of keeping the bedroom clean or taking out the garbage, whereas a parent is to ensure that their child's needs are met. What responsibilities do you have? Make a list. You might be surprised to find out that you have a lot more than you thought.