A blind man once asked a wise man, “Is there anything worse than losing your eye sight?”
The wise man replied, “Yes…losing your vision.”
One of the most important character traits a leader possesses is vision. As a culture we are losing our most valuable resource—male leadership. We have lost our vision of what role a man should play in life, and we have let young men drift along dangerously like disabled ships at sea. Cultures that allow families and communities to exist with no stable, healthy male authority and leadership eventually devolve into chaos. We are seeing the consequences of that in many urban inner city neighborhoods were with upwards of 80% fatherless rate there literally are no healthy adult male role models. Healthy masculine leadership protects the weak. It uses its influence and power to provide safe, life-giving encouragement and provision. It inspires vision in young men and women. Healthy masculinity provides security to all who are around it.
Proverbs says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Because of lack of vision (or poor vision) in the leaders today, our country and cultural value system are threatening to collapse in upon itself.
All males, no matter their age, yearn for significance in their lives. They yearn for a battle to fight that means something. Young men run to the battlefield; not because they want to kill or be killed, but because they want to participate in a battle bigger than themselves—one that matters. They want the world to know they existed. God created them this way to make the world safe and healthy.
When we teach our sons the nobility of using the awesome masculine power that God gave us to help others, we give him the ability to define his life—we channel that natural competitiveness, aggressive nature, and yearning for significance that God gave him into healthy, life-giving outlets. The world has many battles that need to be fought by a group of men and boys banding together. Things like poverty, child and domestic abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, illiteracy, sexual slavery and human trafficking, fatherlessness, and violent behavior by unhealthy men. Just like men of lore were adventurers of wild continents, explorers of untamed lands, and conquerors of the unconquerable, we need to give our young men today adventures with noble causes to live their lives for. But without a vision to inspire them many boys settle for a life lesser lived.
Boys need to hear words like strong, brave, talented, and noble in order to assimilate their duty as leaders. More importantly they need older males to model those traits for them. They need to have the adults in their lives intentionally speak affirming language that inspires and uplifts them to willingly assume the mantle that leadership imposes upon him. They need to be taught to relish the satisfaction that duty and honor brings to a man. As a culture we need to have the vision to recognize the positive attributes that healthy masculinity brings to the table and then nurture those in young men. Vision is one of those attributes.
A culture without vision is directionless. Without direction we eventually founder. A ship at sea without a vision of where it wants to go sails around in circles. Driving in a car without directions (vision) on how to get somewhere is frustrating and inefficient. Living life without a vision of who we want to be and what we want to accomplish is wasteful and maddening. Without vision in life boys are directionless and lack the ability to attain lives of significance. Men armed only with forks in a land of soup do not fare very well. We are now seeing the consequences of years of ‘visionless’ leadership in our culture.
Follow Rick on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RickJohnsonAuthor , and Twitter at betterdads4u.