A Leader Must Hear People’s Pain

During the George Floyd Protests, we are hearing amazing reflections from around the world about what humanity should strive for. In a speech on 2 June 2020, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti talked about the role of leaders.

I joined organizers on the streets of our city just outside here in City Hall. I know I am the mayor, so I know some people will be happy to see me and others might be upset at this moment and needed to yell at me. And both of those things happened.

That’s part of what you do as a leader. You step forward to hear people’s pain, to try to understand it and never dismiss it. And try to offer more than a voice forward, but steps forward. To understand that Peace is not just built as a request, but it is earned when we embrace the idea of Justice.

Universe versus Journey

“The comparison between Dante [and Milton] may be misleading. Dante is telling the story of a spiritual pilgrimage – how one soul fared in is passage through the universe and how all may fear and hope to fare. Milton is giving us the story of the universe itself.”

C.S. Lewis, A Preface to Paradise Lost (1942), as found in Paradise Lost: Norton Critical Edition, edited by Gordon Teskey (New York, W.W. Norton & Company, 2005), p.. 438.

This view of “universe” versus “journey” is an great way to view many stories, fiction or non-fictional. Particularly in Science Fiction and Fantasy, there is discussion of “world building” and how that balances with character development.