SIVA-LIZATION

The Penalty of Leadership

Posted in Inspirational by drsivalaw on July 22, 2008

In every field of human endeavour, he that is first must perpetually live in the white light of publicity. Whether the leadership is vested in a man or in an institution, emulation and envy are ever at work. In art, in literature, in music, in industry, the reward and the punishment are always the same.

The reward is widespread recognition; the punishment, fierce denial and detraction. When a man’s work becomes the standard for the whole world, it also becomes a target for the shafts of the envious few. If his work be merely mediocre, he will be left severely alone – if he achieves a masterpiece, it will set a million tongues a-wagging.

Jealousy does not protrude its forked tongue at the artist who produces a commonplace painting. Whatsoever you write, or paint, or play, or sing, or build, no one will strive to surpass or slander you, unless your work be stamped with the seal of genius. Long, long after a great work or a good work has been done, those who are disappointed or envious continue to cry out that it cannot be done.

Spiteful little voices in the domain of art were raised against our own Whistler as a mountebank, long after the big world had acclaimed him its greatest artistic genius. Multitudes flocked to Bayreuth to worship at the musical shrine of Wagner, while the little group of those whom he had dethroned and displaced argued angrily that he was no musician at all.

The little world continued to protest that Fulton could never build a steamboat, while the big world flocked to the river banks to see his boat steam by. The leader is assailed because he is a leader, and the effort to equal him is merely added proof of that leadership. Failing to equal or to excel, the follower seeks to depreciate and to destroy – but only confirms once more the superiority of that which he strives to supplant.

There is nothing new in this. It is as old as the world and as old as human passions – envy, fear, greed, ambition, and the desire to surpass. And it avails nothing, If the leader truly leads, he remains – the leader.

Master-poet, master-painter, master-workman, each in his turn is assailed, and each holds his laurels through the ages. That which is good or great makes itself known, no matter how loud the clamour of denial. That which deserves to live – lives.

THIS TEXT APPEARED AS AN ADVERTISEMENT IN THE SATURDAY EVENING POST ¶ JANUARY 2ND, IN THE YEAR 1915 ¶ COPYRIGHT, CADILLAC MOTOR CAR DIVISION

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One Response

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  1. Ramesh said, on July 22, 2008 at 5:34 am

    What was written about envy is very true. Nothing has changed since time immemorial. I doubt it will either. I can’t recall who exactly said it but it goes something like this, ” a genious is only appreciated after his death”.
    Ramesh


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