Marvin Repinski: The leadership that shares

Published 6:30 am Saturday, August 21, 2021

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“Joseph, a Levite born in Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabus (which means ‘One who Encourages’), sold a field he owned, brought the money and turned it over to the apostles.” – Acts 4:36-37.

Looking through the fence at Darlene and Ronnie’s place, I had a thought: Every home should have, lacking dust, a good copy of a dictionary. Today I’m using mine!

Two words need clarification: high-rollers and elite. They will be a part of what I’m thinking about in this column. The term “high-roller” is used when speaking about a highly successful person, possibly one who gambles for very high stakes, or one who invests money freely. “Elite” means part of a group selected or regarded as the finest, best, most distinguished or powerful. It may be a reference to an assumed control group (elitism), sometimes written of people in a high government or institutional position.

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I’m calling attention to these words because they are sometimes applied to people in leadership in a negative way, or used as a put-down or in a  jealous manner. My conviction is that people at the top, at very demanding leadership positions, are for the most part deserving of our appreciation. Forget for now the headlines pointing to those who fail or are the “bad apples.”

My career in the field of religion has seen a majority of leaders as a picture of the New Testament. A reading of Philippians 2:1-11 says of Jesus, “He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant; being in the likeness of men.”

For clarification, I write from my birth into a home that was, at times, the scene of insufferable violence, disrespect, cursing and blaming. Eventually my teenage years were spent in a foster home. The Schroeder family was like a mini-paradise that gave me the encouragement to travel and to enroll in a college in Minneapolis after high school.

The values I attempt to live by, with a bit of failure and needed forgiveness, are these: I ask myself why is it done? Does it hurt anyone? Does it help anyone? Are there reasons, as I perceive God, and does it check okay with Him/Her? Does my life add to the sum total of the world’s misery? Does my life encourage love, loyalty, honesty and goodness? What would happen if everybody repeated certain actions? I observe that for every true value, there may be a false value, or so-called value!

My reading of human life is that most of our living is done out of perceived needs, circumstances, education, response to hardship, rewards, early rearing, friendships, mentors, goals and, as members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), believe and live by their words and a Higher Power. I add with a life-long belief (started in a Pentecostal Sunday School), that you can’t go wrong by embracing the teachings of Jesus Christ. I add among the many forms of government the experiment in democracy wins the day!

Returning to “high-rollers” and “elite,” I suggested as used by the leaders in the most demanding positions; that the vast majority of these men and women are in positions of service and diligent application of various skills. They serve as leaders because many of the values I enunciate are applicable to their lives.

Leadership is born out of many talents. Promotion is acquired by thoughtful application.

This essay is very brief considering the enormity of the subject of leadership. Hopefully others may write some words on the topic. I may in the future write more myself.

“They (mortals) look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – I Samuel, 16:7

“When Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever; he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she got up and began to serve him.” – Matthew 8:14-15