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Chanukah Message:  2009:  Light Leadership

By Cheryl Glover, New Thought Kabbalah

This week my brother sent me a link to my old High School: Flushing High School in Queens, NY. 

As I scrolled down the email lists, I recalled some names with fondness, some with regret and some with terror. High School and adolescents were not always kind, but also not condescending either.  I remember, back then you received immediate feedback. Just the opposite of the last 20 corporate years I spent. My topic, today, however, is neither on adolescents, nor kindness nor on how direct “youth” can be.  It is on a reflection of a generation.  We hear a lot about Baby Boomers these days.  That may be because we are finally slowing down enough to reflect.  Somehow, however, I never hear about leadership.  My topic today is about thought leadership.  I watched Bob Dylan last night on TV reflect on his life.  He did not see himself as a leader of a philosophy or a social movement. He just saw himself as a musician.  I am afraid that the whole generation says similar statements.

The first time I had these thoughts was not today.  It was a day, five years ago, when my 16-year-old daughter complained as to why they were not allowing tank tops in school.  Here was my non-stop answer.

“Well you can thank your lucky stars that your Mom and others in my generation walked picket lines to be the first females allowed to wear pants to school. You take it for granted but we were the ones who:

         fought for the rights to wear pants like the guys

         fought for the right to do the jobs we wanted to

         to get the education we deserved

         to allow all races, religions and colors to walk with dignity and have an equal opportunity

         fought against government bureaucracy

         who put a man on the moon

         who changed major social reform for handicapped people, for women, for the poor, etc, etc

         who tried to stop a government from waging an unwanted war

         Who did not allow universities to govern us their way.  We were the customers.

         who did not allow past generations to dictate our sexual behavior

         who did not allow rules without reason

       who spoke up against discrimination

       who lashed out against destroying our planet and for environmental issues

       who would not believe propaganda and created the Village Voice and Rolling Stone Magazine

       who would not allow past generations to dictate our taste in music, in books, in movies

       who stood for raising our children the way we thought was right and not the way “white doctors” saw as right

       who saw peace not just as a slogan, but as a new value

       who went on a search for God, and not religion

       who planted the seeds for holistic and alternative medicine

       who saw the dangers of the additives in our food

       not to mention some of the greatest technological advances to date


What were we? Thought leaders.  Moreover, generations before us were not as much thought leaders as we were.  There were few among us that were not thinking about what was rights; what was fair; why we were doing something; what was truth; what was prejudice; what was real; what was wrong. We kicked, we scrambled, and we fought. We created new ideals and new freedoms. We made the phrase: “by the people” come alive.

So I finished my speech to my daughter and she said, “But Mom, I thought you didn’t start the fire?” like Billy Joel says.

My lesson was to look back on not just one lifetime but across the bigger picture. In each generation, there is thought leadership. In each generation, there is progress and there is error.  We started as much fires, if not more, and enhanced fires, as we put them out. We had light (leadership, righteousness, brilliance, creativity, courage, spirituality, empowerment, “out of the box” thinkers, love, peace and “we got involved” with our country, our environment and our planet). And we had darkness (drugs, jail, wars, dis-respect, dropping out, violence, promiscuity, no-future planning, crime, over-dose, etc.). The Truth is that we had everything that every generation had.  Thought leadership is not always evident.  Let us look at the meaning of Chanukah: when you are at your deepest times.  When there is no light and you think other people are against you.  When there is not enough: food, oil, fuel, money, or love. This is the time to turn towards the light.  The greatest generation of Thought Leaders is the one that knew without a doubt, without second thought, without an analysis, that God was with them. This is the generation of greatness.  They knew that the Light would lead them and the light would hold them.  They were Light Leaders.

As we enter into a Holiday of Light, it would be great to reflect upon the amount of light we have-- and be in gratitude for what we have. It would be great to reflect upon the wonderful events and people of the past- and present.  However, the greatest achievement we can know is to Know God and to Know that God is within us.  Happy Light.


2009 @ copyright New Thought Kabbalah  Reprint is permitted with reference to New Thought Kabbalah and this link.

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Cheryl Glover
Copyright 2009 by New Thought Kabbalah All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Oct 2010 21:14:21 -0400 .

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