The Elroy Reed Report



Leadership, Is It In Your Bag of Tea?


The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the world and challenged everyone in some way.  I heard it once said that people are like tea bags, put them in hot water, you not only see how strong they are, you see what they are made of.  It all comes out.
     The President of the United States, in this hot water, has shown that he is going to come out of the bag, with divisive words and actions.  He yells at the media, points the finger and places blame for everything on others instead of saying, this is where we are, and this is where we need to be and this is where we are going.  These are the expectations of leadership. Instead of leading, President Donald Trump is playing politics.
     This is what is in his bag of tea. This is what is coming out in this hot water.
    In a world of chaos, sometimes it is good to go back to gold standards, like the Bible and see what it says about all of this.
   In First Corinthians 13:11 the Bible (KJV) says “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
    Donald Trump is 73 years of age and he is still playing with his twitter.
     It was the late great Langston Hughes (who incidentally has family roots in Lake County) who wrote a poem called “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”.  And in that poem Langston says, “I have known rivers. I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”
     I know that my soul has grown deep like the rivers.  My expectation for a President of the United States, and other leaders who shepherd funds, and manage programs that are designed to help people, is that we all grow up and develop a selfless magnanimous attitude and fulfill the expectations of our calling and or position in life.  We need to move beyond our personal doubts, fears and proclivities, and do what is right for and by people.  We have to let our bigotry go.  We have to let our racism go, even though for some, that is all that they have to hold on to. 
     About 10 years ago,  I was complaining about the leadership in our community to a preacher.  And that minister told me something that I will never forget.  “Those people are not going to change.”
     I pair that with something that my father said when I was growing up, even then, I naively had aspirations for some people who were behaving badly and they were fullly grown adults.  My father said way back then, “Elroy, people don’t change just because they get older, in most cases, they just get worst”.
   And finally, my mother would say, “What don’t come out in the wash, will come out in the ringer.”
     I said all this to say, that in the worst of times, the villain, or the saint, whatever we are made of is going to emerge and manifest itself.  It is in hard times that you discover who your friends are, and your foe.  It is in hot water where you find out what people are made of, whether they are weak or they are strong. In this time of world-wide pandemic, it is important to remember the principals of our Gold Standard, and encourage positive, strong, tested leaders “whose souls have run deep like the rivers” to step up to the plate and lead.



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