recently i wrote a somewhat lengthy entry recommending craig m. mullaney's book "The Unforgiving Minute", describing his army training at west point, airborne school, ranger school, his education at oxford, and his deployment to afghanistan as a platoon leader. in an article in vanity fair, craig describes attending his younger brother's graduation from ranger school, and a core lesson that he took from that experience -- something that applies to military officers, political leaders, parents, and anyone else in a position of power or influence.
in a nutshell, when things get tougher than you think you can survive, F*** SELF-PITY, IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU. you are there to serve, educate, nurture and protect your soldiers, your constituents, your children, your employees, not the other way around. the office of the president of the united states, for example, should not be occupied by someone who feels the need to be worshipped and obeyed at all costs. he/she is, above all else, merely the first citizen. he/she leads from the front, not from the rear. harry truman got it. jimmy carter got it. i believe that barack obama gets it. time will tell.