Others May, You Can Not
My mom used to say this phrase to me often as a kid and especially as a teenager:
“Others May, You Can Not”
Needless to say this used to frustrate me A LOT because it was usually in relation to something that I wanted to do, something that most of my friends got to do and mom said ‘no’ followed by the infamous phrase.
Now, there’s a good chance that I’m remembering mom saying this much more than she actually did, but the point is that it stuck with me. It started a thought process that I have taken into adulthood.
Because what I’ve learned is that this is still true.
I’ve been pegged as a leader ever since I can remember. I was the kid that was put in charge when no other adults were present, I was the kid that was leading our church’s VBS program at the ripe old age of 14 – and when I say I was leading it, I truly was developing the program, recruiting the volunteers and teaching a good portion of it myself (I know some of you are laughing because you think ‘Jenni with kids, are you kidding?’, but yes… I digress). I was the 15 year old who managed the local Ice Cream Shop. I had three employees (including my sister who went on to be the next manager), did all their scheduling, did all the purchasing, handled the deposits and ran the store for weeks at a time while the owner was away.
Not much has changed in adulthood. I’ve usually been in positions where I’m a little ‘in over my head’, but for some reason this is where I continually find myself and I thrive in it.
There have been days when I’ve been frustrated by the fact that ‘others may, I can not’. But what I’ve discovered is that I’ve been given a tremendous responsibility in many seasons of my life and with that empowerment comes great responsibility.
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded. And from the one trusted with much, much more will be expected.”
This scripture haunts me all the time. As a leader, I am held to a higher standard. What may be ok for others, is not ok for me. What may be inconsequential for another, has greater consequences for me.
This is the responsibility of leadership.
As a leader, how are you handling your responsibility?