A Visionary

Humans have unlimited potential; it’s just a matter of how they tap into it and use it effectively.

What’s the proof? History. If one looks back at recorded history, it is very clear that humans have shaped the vast majority of their own fate. Sure, there are instances when something beyond human power, such as a natural disaster, seem to be the main catalyst. But what really has a lasting impact is how the people act afterwards. Do they choose to rebuild? Or do they choose to move? Do they accept help? Or do they get wiped out by others?

What’s truly remarkable is when a single person has the power to be an agent of change and truly make a mark in history. What’s even more remarkable is that depending on what their intentions are, they can either be a harbinger of good or an omen of evil. Two individuals that comes to mind are Martin Luther King Jr. and Adolf Hitler. In terms of intentions, morals, and ethics, these two individuals would be at great odds. But even these polar opposites have a commonality; these people were visionaries.

It’s interesting because the dictionary definition of visionary is “a person who is given to audacious, highly speculative, or impractical schemes; dreamer.” It almost sounds…denouncing. Fanciful. A dreamer, they say. Almost like the ideas of a visionary is not likely and somewhat ludicrous. Though, for my two examples mentioned above, these descriptions fit perfectly. Seeking radical ideas such as racial equality in a country with origins of slavery as well as world conquest through world war is absolutely absurd. But these people took a chance. They followed through with their grandiose scheme and something substantial came out of it. Interestingly enough, the biblical Joseph of Genesis was called “a dreamer” by his older siblings because he had ridiculous dreams and schemes. Irony had the last laugh because Joseph later became everything he dreamed to be and more. Being called “a dreamer” is not demeaning at all.

For these people, “visionary leader” is a more fit term. Here is a quote detailing this different view (with bolded emphases):

“Visionary leaders are the builders of a new dawn, working with imagination, insight, and boldness. They present a challenge that calls forth the best in people and brings them together around a shared sense of purpose. They work with the power of intentionality and alignment with a higher purpose. Their eyes are on the horizon, not just on the near at hand. They are social innovators and change agents, seeing the big picture and thinking strategically.” (McLaughlin)

Visionary leaders are these catalysts that work toward a new era of the world. They have a plan; they have a dream. What’s also amazing about these people is that they can bring out the fullest potential of other people as well. Not only that, these people can bring together and shape this amassed potential. Think King’s “I Have a Dream” at the Lincoln Memorial or Hitler’s fiery passion in front of Nazi Germany.

But stop for a second. How can a visionary leader even get to this point? The origin of such leaders is an interesting phase to consider. Their ascension is almost calculative. Hitler must have had a plan when he rose up from a dysfunctional artist to chancellor to runner-up world dictator. King must have had a plan when he chose to be a peaceful protester, unlike a great many of his contemporaries. They did what they had to do to build up their credentials with only the end goal in mind. Then at their climax, whether it was through prose, logic, emotion, or any good combination of the three, these people had the means to assemble and control the full potential of all their supporters.

Now this is where they diverge: intentions. What is their higher purpose? What is this horizon they see? Is it a unified nation or an exemplified Aryan race? Imagine the history-that-could-have-been if these two individuals switched places in history. The results? Possibly world peace and civil war. It’s almost like the yin yang philosophy. Everything has good and evil; it’s just a matter of what’s expressed more explicitly.

Who’s next? When will the next visionary make a tear or a stitch in the history of mankind?

 

Regardless, if you are the next dreamer, visionary, or whatever, “the crowd is here, and the lights are on, and they want a show.” But have no fear, the world is your stage.

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