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Thoughts from Dr. Joe: To his little leaders …

September 22, 2010|By Joe Puglia

I was aspiring for higher office, running against Thomas Thouey for assistant patrol leader of the Ravens in Boy Scout Troop 136. Thouey was the vilest kid in the troop. He was eventually the reason I got kicked out of the eighth-grade play. He called my mamma a bad name, so I threw him off the stage headfirst.

Well, I won by one vote. I thought it strange that I would beat the most despicable kid in the school by a mere vote. That was the last time I ever put myself on the line and ran for a position of leadership.

Oh, over the years I've had many positions of leadership, but they were either by Congressional appointment, volunteering, or surviving being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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In high school, as a student of Latin, I learned about the solemnity placed upon the charge and responsibility of leadership. The Roman Republic called it the cursus honorum, the "course of honor." Those who aspired to public office underwent a series of assessments to determine the honor or worth of their character. It was imperative that leaders of the Roman Republic have a certain gravitas. Public office was earned not only by deed but also by strength of moral fiber.

The Romans understood that leadership is not a component of promises or doing things right; it's doing the right thing. The moral platitude of righteousness implies honor and, ultimately, honor is the only gift that you give to yourself.

Last week, students at LCHS entered the political arena and ran for student government posts. My daughter Simone attempted to become assistant activities director. Her campaign consisted of speeches, passing out fliers, and a microscopic scrutiny by her peers. She and all the other children running for student government put themselves on the line by entering a predicament where-by risk taking is failure prone. Entering an arena where the potentiality of losing is exceedingly high is a risky proposition for a child. Success sometimes looms as fool's gold because gratification becomes omnipotent.

Of course, as a parent, I hoped Simone would win. She didn't win, she lost, as did many of her peers. So, today my thoughts are for my little leaders who tried but came up just a little bit short.

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