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'Mail' Newspaper Articles

FOCAL POINT For publishing 14/8/01


Recently I watched a TV discussion forum on the topic of 'Leadership and Heroes'. I was taken by the term 'Followership' used by one of the members, who defined it as the prerequisite for successful leadership and subsequent hero status. In real terms, many of our 'Heroes' somehow 'bubble' to the surface like fat floating to the top of a meat soup stock. They are 'accidental' heroes who just seem to arrive at this status. Yet most have had a lifetime of forming before arriving at this point. How many eye operations did Fred Hollows do before he reached 'Hero' status? How many people did 'Weary' Dunlop 'patch up' in the war before he reached 'Hero' status? And how many runs did the 'Don' make before he carried the nation's hope as their 'Hero'? Egotistic or self-opinionated 'loud' and aggressive leaders grab our attention, but don't seem to hold sway for long. Mind you, this surprises me when I see our society still so centered on self and ego massaging. Perhaps Pat Rafter epitomizes the new type of hero, and maybe the old as well. An 'Age' editorial comment sums up our Pat; 'He's a reminder that dignity, generosity and self control still have a place in modern sport'. Christians look at their Hero, Jesus, and continually discover and rediscover that He is an exception. His status is not generated by 'Followership', yet with 2000 years of leadership 'under His belt', He has a 'Followership' that runs into multi-millions. They are compelled to follow Him when they get to understand His Person, His plan and get to live within His Love, Freedom and Forgiveness. He still calls the individual to follow Him daily, and the wise do. Even with His striking record He is still the humble, persistent knocker on the 'heart's door'. He never pushes into a life, but longs to renew the relationship between the creator and the created. I'm not sure whether Pat Rafter models his life on Jesus but with his humility, hair and beard, he certainly looks and acts the part. 'Followership' sure is a word worth mulling over-----Selah (an old Hebrew word for, think on these things). 

Graeme Dawson.


Focal Point Yarra Valley 2009