A Worthy Leader

When I was doing my service in the armed forces (army) I was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas with the first battalion of the 46th infantry division for awhile. It was there that I met sergeant Johnson and sergeant Wolfe. And the reason I remember both of them well is because they stood out as leaders; they knew what leadership was.

As an example, there was a particular week in which my platoon worked really hard doing war games out on the field. It was the month of January; there was snow on the ground and we worked throughout the week facing cold and unrelenting wind. That Saturday night we finished exhausted after cleaning and washing our vehicles and equipment at the motor pool.

On Sunday morning, sergeant Wolfe, the war veteran who was our platoon leader, brought himself donuts and coffee to each and every soldier of his platoon while we were still in bed. He didn’t have to do this at all, believe me, but he understood what a leader was. He was showing his appreciation for a job well done; he was showing he was there for his men. He understood that a worthy leader does not oppress and dominates; he serves and motivates.

A Short Poem | The Hobbit | JRR Tolkien

“The road goes ever on and on,

Down from the door where it began.

Now far ahead the road has gone,

and I must follow if I can.

Pursuing it with eager feet,

until it joins some larger way

where many paths and errands meet.

And wither then? I cannot say.”

–J. R. R. Tolkien in “The Hobbit”

J. R. R. Tolkien was once asked in an interview if his books were allegorical. He responded that they were not, that they were just entertainment. I am convinced that professor Tolkien was pulling the interviewer’s leg. What do you think? Have you read Tolkien?

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