When you hear the word ‘border’ what do you think of? Is there a particular idea that comes to mind?
In some cases, a border is a sharp delineation between two things. For example, the drawings in a coloring book use borders to tell the green part from the blue part.
However, the idea quickly grows more unclear. Let’s use a border between two properties. That boundary is an imaginary line that serves as a legal distinction between, say, me and my neighbor. On this side of this imaginary line is my property; that side of the line belongs to my neighbor.
But that line is not real. A tree growing on one side may have limbs and/or roots that pass through this imaginary edge to the other side. Birds fly right through this line, and snow piles up the same on either side. Borders between countries, or even continents, are similarly porous.
For another example, how about a border between a forest and a prairie. That’s pretty straightforward: where the trees end and the grass begins is the boundary.
But seeds from the grass can blow underneath trees and grow there. And an acorn from a tree on this boundary can fall into the prairie. The border is not so fixed.
Or in a more abstract sense, what about two areas of study? What is the border then? This one thing is physics; that one thing is astronomy. But in that middle ground is astrophysics.
If you look more closely at the edges, any two areas can blend with each other. So does the boundary really exist? What does the word ‘border’ mean to you?
Related questions: Where does authority come from? When did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone? What do you measure? What is your bubble?
In our society, it is the people who have power who manage to get things done. The type of power — financial, political, or even brute force — might change, but the use of it to accomplish goals does not.
We see examples of influence all around us. A business leader may use connections they have to make deals. Or someone who holds political office may use their position to enact legislation. Yet another example is a popular person exercising their social connections.
That power might be used for personal gain, or it might be used for societal gain. How it is used may be determined by the character of the person with the advantage. Conversely, there might be social or legislative checks on that power.
There is also a certain influence that comes from collaboration. One person may not be able to do much in isolation, but if that person can recruit a hundred others to help them, their reach can expand drastically.
Do you see power being used around you? How? Who has it? Is one kind more effective than another?
Related questions: Where does authority come from? Individual or society? What makes a good leader? How much power does an individual have?
Have you had any notable interaction with someone from the police department? Do you have direct experience with law enforcement?
Share why if you wish.
If you were asked to give a TED Talk, what would the subject matter be? What subject do you know more about than anything else?
Share why if you wish.
Good leaders can come from just about anywhere. They can be found in nearly every aspect of society.
For example, a teacher might help shape a generation of students. Or a religious figure can bring enlightenment to an entire congregation. A CEO might lead a company to grow and positively impact a community. A sports figure can inspire children from many places and backgrounds to achieve. And a politician just might inspire us to become better citizens.
What do these, and other, good leaders have in common? What traits do they share? Is the role something that can be learned or fostered? Or conversely, is it a naturally-born characteristic? What can you do to become a more effective leader in your everyday life?
What makes a good leader?
Related questions: Where does authority come from? How do you know who to trust? Which historical figure would you like to meet? Who inspires you?