Last week, my son returned from school, and to say that he was happy is an understatement.
Asked what had made him so ecstatic, he broke the news that he had been selected class monitor in top class. He further narrated how a one Alicia was appointed his assistant.
I was curious to know if he knew what it meant to hold a position of leadership. He gave me a recap of his roles. He is supposed to distribute homework books, pencils and crayons to his classmates. To whoever asks him about the school he goes to, he explains that he is not just a pupil, but also a class monitor.
After learning of his new role at school, I talked to him about what is expected of a leader at any level. I am seeing evident change in his attitude and perception of his position. Frequently, he reminds me that he has to finish his homework in time because he has to set an example to the children he leads.
I must say that as a mother, I am counting my lucky stars because the little man is acting more responsible than usual. I have encountered parents who have literally been driven nuts by the mere idea or insinuation that their children want to take up leadership positions.
There is also an argument that leadership at school is time-wasting, and that it makes children lose their focus on education. Well, such assumptions could be true, depending on how much time is allocated to education and leadership. This, however, does not mean that leadership should be left to the ‘unserious lot’ of society.
The leaders we breed today will take charge of tomorrow. How then would they jump onto the leadership wagon without the slightest idea of what it entails to be a leader?
Some parents will go to the extremes of setting boundaries within which their children ought to operate as long as they are under their care. Even when it is evident that those children would make excellent leaders, they shy away from leadership due to their parents’ attitude.
It is prudent to help children and young adults to appreciate that leadership is a noble calling. It is a training ground for building the virtues of patience, accountability and humility. Therefore, we should help our children, right from family level, to embrace leadership opportunities and prepare them to become custodians of tomorrow’s world.
I found true the assertion by one preacher that Uganda does no longer grapple with the disease Aids, but rather acquired integrity deficiency syndrome that is eating away the moral backbone of society.
Part of the cause is that the decent people shun leadership. It is our responsibility as parents to take a deliberate action that will cause a change in the prevailing worldview.
There are many advantages in mentoring and nurturing the leaders we want. That change will start at home. Leadership starts at home. Empower your children to know that the change we want to see in our society begins from each one of us.
Otherwise, we would be insinuating that it is possible to shun leadership at an early stage of life, but emerge out of the blues to make excellent leaders when the ‘right time’ comes.
The right time and age is now. We do not need the biggest of offices to be leaders; we can make the best out of every opportunity to serve humanity.