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Idealism, Leadership, and Self Violence

Does our idealism lead us to over commit to real needs, important opportunities, and noble callings?

There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.

-- Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

And, said in an even more passionate, inclusive, and timely way by Sonya Renee Taylor on Instagram.

Learn more about the Humane Leadership approach to stopping this cycle in our book


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