Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Let me start off by saying that I'm relatively new to these forums, and I don't know if this is the right forum to post this in. Please feel free to move it if there is a better place for it to be.

I am a member of my school's local chapter of the National Honor Society, and we have an induction for new members coming up in a few days. It's the 50th anniversary of the chapter too, so many local alumni will be there. I am supposed to deliver the part of the speech about leadership, but I find some of the content to be highly objectionable. I have asked the head of the chapter, and she said that I could re-write it (in fact, she encouraged me to). I was wondering how you all think I should go about it, as I'm not the best at writing for public addresses. Here is the original piece:

Leadership should exert a wholesome influence on the school. In taking initiative in the classroom and in school activities, the real leader strives to train and aid others to reach their common goals and success. The price of leadership is sacrifice -- the willingness to yield one's personal interests for the interests of others. A leader has self-confidence and will go forward when others hesitate. No matter what power and resources may exist in a school, community, or nation, they are ineffectual without the guidance of a wise leader. Leadership is always needed; thus, to lead is a meaningful and substantive charge to each of our members.

I will then read a quote before passing on the podium to the next speaker. I am considering the following Latin proverb. I really like it and I'm taking Latin so pronunciation shouldn't be an issue, but I don't know if the audience would follow along if I suddenly switch to a foreign language. I might warn them beforehand or omit the Latin text altogether:

Absurdum est ut alios regat, qui speisum regere nescit. (It is absurd that a man should rule others, who cannot rule himself.)

I'm sure you can see where I take issue with the stock piece (the part about self-sacrifice is especially horrible), but I'm not entirely sure what to put in its place. There is already someone else presenting a piece about character, so I probably shouldn't infringe on his territory. I think I also want to change the part that begins ". . . the real leader strives to . . ."

Note that I in no way want to moralize to the audience, I just don't want to come across as espousing altruistic ideas such as these. Any pointers in the right direction where the rewrite is concerned would be appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sentence about self sacrifice could probably be completely removed. I don't think the rest of the paragraph would fall apart if you just struck it out and left the rest.

Or you could say something like this in place of the turdesque sentence: "The leader pays a high price, oftentimes getting no credit for his accomplishment and no recognition of the price he pays. But he recognizes the great value of those accomplishments and is willing to pay that price."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sentence about self sacrifice could probably be completely removed. I don't think the rest of the paragraph would fall apart if you just struck it out and left the rest.

Or you could say something like this in place of the turdesque sentence: "The leader pays a high price, oftentimes getting no credit for his accomplishment and no recognition of the price he pays. But he recognizes the great value of those accomplishments and is willing to pay that price."

I like that. I'm probably going to move the wording around a bit, but that not only fits nicely but has a similar feeling to it as the original sentence seems to intend (although clearly did not mean). Thank you for the assistance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here, I think I've worked out the kinks in the speech. I changed the quote too:

Leadership should exert a wholesome influence on the school. True leaders take initiative in the classroom and in life, striving to reach their own goals, often to the betterment of the whole community, with self-confidence and tenacity. To be a leader is a difficult and often unrecognized position, but there is value in being the first and laying the tracks in which others may follow, and the leader recognizes this value. No matter what power and resources may exist in a school, community, or nation, they are ineffectual without the guidance of a wise leader. Leadership will always be needed and, thus, is a meaningful charge on all of our members. I think a quote from Henry Miller, the American novelist, will best sum this all up: "The real leader has no need to lead -- he is content to point the way."

Any final opinions? The induction is tomorrow, so there's not much time left for making changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've noticed that whenever anything collectivist is espoused, it's always completely irrelevant to what is being discussed. For example, in our history book it talks of Romanticism when people "discovered the limits of reason." Not when they thought, but when they did. It will also have random graphs of wealth disparity and whatnot.

I'm with the other responders, I think that can be cut out totally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...