Can I tell you a story?
One of my sister-in-law’s ancestors was one of the early settlers in America. When he was about 9 years old, a band of Native Americans came into their village, burned their fields, brutally raped his mother in front of his eyes, killed his father and older brothers in front of him, then killed his mother and all of his siblings save two in front of his eyes.
He was then kidnapped along with his siblings and taken on a death march to Canada. On the way, his younger brother died of exposure – in front of his eyes. Once they made it to Canada, his sister was rescued by some nuns and taken to a convent.
He, however, was ransomed to the village back home – and left to rot on his own with the Native Americans. No one thought he was worthy of their time or concern.
It is really honestly hard to think of a situation that will mess you up more than that.
And do you know what happened to him? Did he become a mass murderer? Did he kill himself? Did he go on shooting rampages in schools? He might have been pardoned for it if he did, at least by modern psychology standards. Or at least in my heart. And did he, in a completely understandable response to this terrifying childhood, become a terrorist in society?
No, he did not. In fact, eventually he moved back to the same community in America. And eventually he found some kind of healing. And he got married, and became a Deacon of his church, and lived to a ripe old age.
People are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole, y’all. Sometimes we just need to be pushed to believe it for ourselves.
As we’ve spoken before about the But Mentality – there’s of course a BUT there. Or, perhaps, there’s an AND there. Yes, he was naturally creative, resourceful, and whole.
AND he most likely had a lot of help from his community dealing with this all (this was before therapists, remember). AND he probably got a lot of support from his wife and children when dark moods would come on him. AND he somehow found his connection and peace with the Universe, probably through religion as he became a Deacon (my assumption). AND…he had love around him.
So, my friends – what do you think is the AND here? We personally think it’s an AND where we build communities of leaders, to help each other out as we take on the world. We like to say that leadership dies in isolation – and we’re here to make sure it doesn’t die. Our And, of course, is doing this all together.