The small man
Builds cages for everyone
While the sage,
Who has to duck his head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
Today, will you build more cages or drop more keys?
The “small” leader needs to control because he feels out of control. He is small because he does not trust himself which means he cannot trust others. He is small because change frightens him, imagination freezes him, possibility unnerves him. He is small because what he cannot imagine for himself he must disallow for others.
The “sage” is a towering figure not because of stature but because of presence. His equanimity comes from learning to see control as an easy, costly fantasy. He trusts himself because he knows himself; he has done the work. And by doing the work he has developed the capacity to accept the unfinished in others. He is unfinished as well.
The sage welcomes change, because it is inevitable. Imagination is his wellspring of possibility, energizing both mind and heart. He knows that he is a catalyst for the emergence of these qualities in others.
Their rowdiness does not unsettle him; it’s what makes them beautiful. And he takes seriously his responsibility to unlock it because otherwise it will die.
The sage is the very best of who we can be.