Alexander the Great was and still is considered to be the greatest General ever lived. His battle strategy and remarkable war techniques are studies to this very day but what he is most admired for it’s his leadership; his troops were ready to give up their lives for him and one asks why?
It is very simple: his people loved him not because he was handsome, charismatic, well educated or a king but because he was humble and was one with his people. A very rare quality indeed!
In hand battle he was at forefront alongside his foot soldiers; as a rider he led his cavalry by riding ahead of his mounted troops; during meals he sat among with them and ate together the same food as they all did without special privileges; that’s why his soldiers were ready to die for him! He was an example to them all and loved him for it!
That’s what a true leader and leadership is all about; something that’s badly missing here in Cyprus – humbleness!
At a recent Cultural, Music and Folk Festival held by a municipality to encourage tourism the Minister of Culture and Education was the guest of honour. Great! Tasty good food and wine was served at 5 Euros – excellent price indeed – and we lined up holding our wobbly plastic plates, forks and knives and gladly served ourselves. While attempting to balance the plate of food in one hand and carrying a plastic cup full of wine with the other, we searched for a plastic chair to squeeze in like sardines between rows upon rows of tables and sit down to enjoy the event. It was excellent!
At a glance it was noticed that a large sections (nearly one third of the capacity) remained empty with chairs draped over in white covers and the tables were laid out with sparkling wine and water glasses. Then magic happened!
There walked in the dignitaries; the political party drones; the local party hacks; prominent citizens and their relatives, many persons and “pillars of society”; priests and a horde of other guests by “invitation only” and took their positions in a hierarchically status and sat down; the more prominent in status one sat closer to the minister!
Once again magic happened! An army of waiters appeared and served the throng with food on china plates and wine at the expense of the municipality; god forbid those guests were reduced to the indignity of lining up to pick up their own food like the rest of us children of lesser gods! Suddenly the food in my throat did not go down well!
Then I recognized that unless such a nepotistic and “butt-kissing” culture is eliminated and replaced by meritocracy and social equality by a Revolution of the Mind through meaningful education, nothing would ever change here on the island.
Andreas C Chrysafis