“What makes you cry?”
That was one of the questions I posed to the participants of a leadership workshop I facilitated last week. We were talking about our values and how we as leaders model those values. It was part of a series of questions meant to help them clarify their own personal values.
Tears connect us to the deep places in our hearts where we guard those things that are most important to us. Tears emerge out of love and hurt and beauty and pain – all of those strings that attach us to our deepest values.
“What made me cry this week? The story emerging out of Egypt,” I said. “I don’t know when a news story has had such an emotional impact on me.”
It’s true. I cried. Along with so many other people. (In fact, when I tweeted about my tears, several others chimed in that they too were crying.) I cried, and cheered, and laughed, and even returned a thumbs up sign to a man in Tahrir Square who grinned into my TV screen.
How was the story of Egypt connected to my values? In SO many ways…
– I value courage.
– I value human rights.
– I value collaboration.
– I value women working with men, old working with young, Muslims working with Christians.
– I value peaceful resolutions and positive alternatives to oppression and violence.
– I value people who place the common good ahead of their own comfort.
– I value independent voices, willing to rise up and say “This must change.”
What do you value? What makes you cry?
Don’t ever be ashamed of the things that make you cry. They are the things that make you human. They are the things that make you strong. They are the things that help you step into leadership.