I still have Bosses, Leaders, and Power in my mind. How could I avoid thinking about it? Every day that I put CNN on for the latest news, I see the kind of Leadership, the kind of Boss, and the Use of Power that the Lybian leader, Ghadafi offers his people. This also effects the rest of the world actually. Just go and fill up your tank at any USA service station and you’ll see how his every move impacts all of us. Ghadafi is a tyrant, for sure, but what I want to know is how there are so many Lybians who support him, who fly his plane and tanks and kill their fellow citizens. Have they been so crippled by having their own ability to think taken away from them for many years that when they are finally given a chance to exert themselves, they are unable to do so? Is this the same kind of brainwashing that we had seen among Hitler’s “judend namely the German children, who cheered for him blindly? This is all very scary stuff, as far as I’m concerned.
But I’m also worried about the leadership of the countries in the rest of the world that stand by lamely and don’t use the power in their hands to stop the Hitlers and Ghadafis and Mubaraks and … and … and …
Is this also a problem on a much smaller scale? For example, how many parents dominate their children, how many husbands and wives dominate their spouses, how many siblings dominate one another, how many bosses dominate their employees to the point that they are unable to express their own free will? Not a small number, I would imagine. I think leadership qualities can be identified in childern as early a nursery school. Perhaps we should find a way for those who are being bossed around to learn early on how to deal with those who rule over other in negative ways.
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In my last blog I wrote that it is common for one person to be the decision maker, leader, boss, or, whatever you want to call it, in a relationship. Sometimes that person is aware of it and takes advantage of his dominance; sometimes it comes about in a very subtle way, as I described in many European marriages I witnessed as a child.
The whole subject got me thinking about the person or persons who are being dominated, be they wives, children, office workers, farm hands, secretaries, etc. I think sometimes people are content to be bossed around because it takes the responsibility of making decisions away from them. It is my feeling about people who follow certain religious leaders who dictate to others how they are to live their lives.
Most usual, in my opinion, people are not happy to be controlled in any way. How do they then deal with their discontent? They may seek to dethrone the dominant person by fighting for his/her position as in a family, business, law office, etc. Perhaps they will do as I did when I felt I could not live being dominated by my father. I left the household and moved to another city. I have known others who have left their religion, their job, and even their family.
For me it is clear that being bossed/dominated does not work in the long run. What I didn’t know was that my family members would eventaully follow me to me new home city, forcing me then to take over the leadership position. I hope I didn’t abuse that power.
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I was having lunch the other day with one of my cousins and as is usual in our meetings, the conversation turned to a rundown of what is new with each member of our extended family. We don’t have a very large family but still, it seems that certain members see each other more regularly than others. I’m not sure if that is “normal” or not. I think it is.
So, I asked my cousin about some members with whom she is closer and the conversation went to a married couple in which the husband has been very successful financially. As I remember him, he was always the one to remind the rest of us about how he rose from being a shipping clerk to being the head of his lucrative company. Meanwhile, his well-dressed, bejeweled wife would sit in the background silently, smiling.
“Don’t kid yourself,” my cousin said to me at lunch. “She’s the whole show.” Of course, what she meant was that the quiet, subservient wife was, in fact, “the boss!”
It made me think about so many European families that I knew growing up as an immigrant in Portland, Oregon in which I saw that same equation at work. It seems to me, looking back at it all, that the Viennese culture I knew then required the husband/father to be the head of the family and thereby the one to lay down all the laws by which everyone under his roof was to live.
However, their wives somehow knew how to finagle their husbands into giving in to their wishes. My mother did it by crying. I’m sure others had other means for manipulating their husbands … without their even knowing it.
What was and still is clear though, is that everyone else among their acquaintances who knew the couple, knew exactly who was “the boss.”
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