Monday, May 16, 2011

Losing my Leaders

Interesting timing… interesting times.  After 22 years of Mayor Daley, we now have a new mayor in Chicago.  And with the new mayor comes a new Administration—which means there will be a new commissioner for the department I work in.  Politics is heartless, isn’t it?  We had an excellent leader at my office, but it doesn’t matter.  It’s a new day and a new vision. 

Time for “change.”

I’ve seen lots of people come and go (mostly go) during my years at this job, as well as previous jobs.  Some people left by choice, others by circumstances beyond their control.  Oftentimes, the news was startling to me.  On one level, I understood:  People move on.  People gotta do what they gotta do.

But on another level, I’m like a little kid, thinking, “No. You can’t go!  It won’t be the same here without you!”  

When co-workers leave, there’s definitely a gap.  You miss their contribution as well as their company.  But when a boss leaves, you lose some certainty as well.  It’s a little unsettling.  Nobody knows quite what to expect.  What will the new head honcho want?  And how will it affect ME?

I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

Besides my workplace, people are leaving at my church too.  A few people are moving away—including the pastors.  Yeah.  The pastors, and founders, of the church are leaving, which pretty much means this particular church will be dissolving. 

Admittedly, this is an unusual situation.  It was a small, unaffiliated church, with sort of an alternative, progressive approach to things.  It suited my little family perfectly.  It’s sad that it’s ending.

It’s always sad when friends move away.  “Change” often sucks.

It’s just kind of weird that I’m losing two leaders in my life in the same month. 

PLUS, Oprah’s last show is this month too!  Okay, so I haven’t watched the show in ages and this doesn't affect me personally AT ALL, but still.  Queen/guru/icon Oprah was something special, and now she’s leaving Chicago too.

And, of course, Michael Scott just left too!  Okay, so he’s fictional, and I actually haven’t watched The Office in awhile either.  But still… 

People are moving on.  People at the top, the ones we look up to.

What does it all mean?

Maybe it’s a Buddhist lesson in impermanence.  Life IS change, constant change.  We grow, we change.  It shouldn’t be a surprise.

Or maybe it means I shouldn’t put too much reliance on leaders.  I can be my own leader.  I mean, it’s fine and good to have role models… but not so wise to hitch your wagon to one leader (no matter how charismatic or messianic, presidentially speaking).

Or maybe it’s a reminder that communities are just as important, if not more important, than their leaders.  The leaders may be leaving, but the people are still here.  Just like family… we’ve still got each other.

Well, MAYBE (if I can overuse that word), it’s all those things and more.

I'll keep pondering it.  And I'll try not to worry about it.  It is what it is, as they say.  But, it is interesting.... 

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