Recently I had a short conversation with a co-worker that caused me to reflect on some typical and often repeated occurrences in life. He told me that recently he attended a leadership training conference where one of the guest speakers was a former general in one of the branches of the military. I'm sorry that I don't remember more details about the man, but he made ten statements about leadership. The one that he relayed to me was "Don't feel sorry for your soldiers."
Of course the initial reaction upon hearing this is one of shock or maybe disbelief, but actually the meaning is that leadership requires us to expect the best in others, even when hard things are required. Without the proper training, soldiers will not be prepared for what they will encounter on the battlefield and they need to be prepared for anything.
At anytime during the course of our lives we find ourselves in positions of leadership and/or of being led, to teach correct principles and then live by what we teach, to give orders and take them.
The test of a true principle is that it holds up under every circumstance. I've reflected on this lately in light of my job, my calling, and my relationship with friends and family and I believe that only good can from from expecting the best in others and not feeling sorry for them for the tests we must all go through in this life. Many of our trials are the result of our choices. But we should love each other and provide support while we seek to learn and grow during our mortal tests.
I'm sure that our Heavenly Father has great expectations for us and has sent us here to learn to do the hard things, without a lot of whining and complaining, because we need to learn to be strong spiritual leaders. And he probably doesn't feel sorry for us because he knows we can do it, with His help. And we are called to help and lift others along the way.
And speaking of lifting, how often do we react to the needs of others by simply saying something quick and often thoughtless in an attempt to make them FEEL better. How much more helpful it might be if we actually took the time to bear our testimony of true principles that could inspire them to BE better.
I hope that I can remember that I am here to train to BE better, and not allow myself the temptation to try to shortcut my training.
Especially since I seem to need more of it than the average person. Thank you to all who take the time to try and train me!