Leonard the lemming never intended to jump into the frigid water and swim for that bountiful island within sight but beyond reach. No, Leonard the lemming was simply doing what lemmings do…. he followed the crowd.
Leonard was, before his premature death at sea, a meek and tenderhearted lemming, part of a huge extended family of, mostly, meek and tenderhearted lemmings. A faithful and promising student of ‘the way it is’ – all wayward independence and loose opinions having been scraped away by controllers unhindered by meekness and a tender heart – Leonard turned off his thinker, dethroned common sense, and willfully placed his trust and loyalty on said controllers, thus ensuring for himself the craved acceptance of the group.
Poor Leonard. Because he was stronger than most he had to witness the drowning of dear parents and siblings and cousins and aunts and uncles before his own demise. He heard their last cries and shared their confusion…… but they said!!….. but they promised!!…..
The controllers had assured the congregation a safe excursion to the promised land. Soon all would be nibbling on delicious vegetation. It was all just a short swim away, a piece of (vegetarian) cake.
Blinded by confidence in their discernment, they miscalculated. Common sense should have told them their promised land was simply too distant. Soon their lifeless bodies would be scattered on a beach, a banquet for ecstatic birds.
We will never know Leonard’s last thoughts. Did he finally realize that a group, even a large group, never made a secure sanctuary? That trust in controllers always proceeds bitter consequences?
Certainly not all leaders are controllers. True leaders lead by example, by humility, by service, by wisdom. Unlike controllers, whose need to manipulate equals their need to breathe, true leaders are not misguided by such compulsion.
Perhaps Leonard the foiled lemming thought his meek and tender heart would protect him from such a devastating demise. Perhaps Leonard the foiled lemming never heard, “Cursed is the lemming that trusts in lemmings.”