The Price of Leadership

Of all of the searing images in the news this week, the one I hope I never, ever forget is that of a passionate and prepared 16-year-old Swedish girl addressing the United Nations about the climate crisis.

But it’s not just that she was there or what she said or how she said it. What makes her efforts this week so extraordinary is the proof of her impact, part of which is in the brutal and cruel manner a stunning number of adult professional people attempted to destroy her after the fact.

So impassioned was she; so effective, so clear and so right, that she managed to hit the big red button of insecurity and weakness jutting from the chest of every pundit who can’t even dream of caring about something as much as she has proven that she does.

They let her have it and she didn’t bat an eyelash. She saw them coming, expertly trolling the trolls, because she is wise beyond her years. She took it in stride – these grotesque and chilling remarks – and stuck to the business at hand.

She gave us a stirring example of leadership this week, an image that should sustain and encourage us in our own efforts.

She also reminded us just how expensive it can be to live on the very edge, the most exposed frontier of change.


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