The other day, while running at 4:00 a.m., a friend told me: "I didn`t call you before because I know you are a lone ranger, wanting to preserve your intimacy and private space". I said many thanks for your consideration and quietly wondered if I was really a lone ranger... Absolutely! To be fully human is to have the courage and preparedness for isolation. To be a self-starter is to be empowered, to have given up the colonialism of learned helpness and dependency often fostered by the presumptive security of larger institutions. For years, I have embraced the delicious philosophy of living in isolation and feeling comfortable with aloness. For the human being who cherishes intimacy, insolation is as painful as it is fundamental to existential integrity. A word of alertness: Intimacy without the courage to stand up for one`s intellectual convictions is empty servitude. Intimacy, as pertaining to the inmost character, is a virtue when it is given freely by the lone ranger soul. The existential challenge is : To develop into being one`s own character after a life time of being totally compliant. Is it possible? Yes!
The formula is to think, think for yourself. Is to reason with knowledge and intellectual foundation when assaulted with conflicting opinions. Is to have a clear structure of values, of which you are proud and can support you under stress. It is to have faith in God, in yourself, your ideals, your skills, your family, your profession and your organization. True, we have faith in different domains. What we have learned with aging it that empowered human beings are capable of faith, as a vaccine against the winds of fear that blow sometimes around us. The combination of intimacy, aloness, empowerment and profound thinking allow us to balance inner and external forces and enhance our influence system.
I frequently invite friends, students and family members to think for themselves, meaning that we are steadfast in turmoil, chaos, stress, doubt, anger, assault, abandonment, change, ambiguity, uncertainty and anxiety as well. These are all cognitive emotions, so if we think and try harder, they will reveal truth about human and social conditions. They are all related to how it feels to grow and they must be valued, not denied. Moreover, in solitude we learn a secret. These human conditions are pure energy. The can go in either destructive or constructive directions. We have to learn and practice how to make robust choices.
Again, visioning leadership intelligence strongly relates to the development of courage. The visioning mind must be ready for loneliness, holding on faithfully to a vision frequently derided by others. Tenacity always win. Stead fastness is courage applied to vision.
We should all be ready for the loneliness of a lone ranger. It is a complex process, withdrawing into isolation and from within making difficult and painful decisions - others often unrecognizing the solid foundations, high dreams and noble courage. After all, the lone ranger is a private person, he or she chooses to be "born" in solitude and to suffer in silence as well. There are several and relevant sport metaphors for describing such a condition: no pain no gain, no fear, just do it. A last paradox. This lone ranger is a member of a powerful and winning team.
Copyright 1998 QBS, Inc.