Action from Principle

When I think of the power of authenticity and vulnerability, I think of a statement from Thoreau in Civil Disobedience: “Action from principle, the perception and the performance of right, changes things and relations; it is essentially revolutionary, and does not consist wholly with anything that was. It not only divides states and churches, it divides families; aye, it divides the individual, separating the diabolical in him from the divine.”

The declaration of our deepest and most authentic intent is a commitment to “action from principle.” It is not a commitment to the preservation of the past. It “does not consist wholly with anything that was.” It is a commitment to the process of becoming. It is a commitment to live in a different and better state. It is a commitment to live proactively in a reactive culture.

Such a commitment “changes things and relations.” It divides others. Some are predictably repelled which is why we are hesitant to “come out.” Yet some are attracted. They are attracted to the possibility we now embody.   This attraction is the essence of positive leadership. Positive leadership is a function of moral power. When we become authentic, our moral power increases and others are attracted or repelled.

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