Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Role of a Leader

I read this bit from an excellent children's book by Robin McKinley "The Hero and the Crown":

"At home, pride of place and Arlbeth's encouragement brought her to attend more of the courts and councils that administered the country that Arlbeth ruled.  'Don't let the title mislead you, ' Arlbeth told her. 'The king is simply the visible one. I'm so visible, in fact, that most of the important work has to be done by other people.'

'Nonsense.' said Tor.

Arlbeth chuckled. 'Your loyalty does you honor, but you are in the process of becoming too visible to be effective yourself, so what do you know about it?'

The most important thing that Aerin learned was that a king needed people he could trust, and who trusted him.  And so she learned all over again that she lacked the most important aspect of her heritage, for she could not trust her father's people, because they could not trust her.  It was not a lesson she learn gratefully.  But she had come out of hiding, and just as she could not scream when the dragon bit her, so she could not go back to her former life."

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