For anyone in a position of power, whether a (once) world leader like Tony
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Blair or a headmaster in a village school, there is danger in putting yourself forward as someone who is right and whose teaching must be believed and followed because of who you are. There must be leadership, of course, and decisions taken; leaders will have their beliefs that guide their actions, but it helps if there is a humility, too, which allows for fallibility, and for the right for everyone to have their own perspective on life, and, in their world, to be right.
Any good headmaster ensures that his pupils receive the best education possible, but the best will encourage individuality of thought and expression even if it contradicts established wisdom. A spiritual teacher, similarly, will give to his or her students all the wisdom he has, holding nothing back in the desire to help, and with no expectation or requirement that that spiritual guidance is followed unquestioningly. The Teacher gives in order that the pupil finds his own way, and those who choose to withhold their spiritual knowledge are using it as a weapon of power, unaware it is evidence of an ego out of control.
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A true Master never sets himself above others, or sees his opinion as any better than anyone else’s. A true Master never says he is a Master, for he does not think about labels or judgment, or much about himself at all - it is for others who know him to determine how they choose to think of him. Anything else is ego.
Nelson Mandela is a wonderful example of a world leader who was largely free from ego, as interested in and respectful of a cleaner as a prime minister. I leave it to you to determine how far Tony Blair thinks he is a Master in the world, and how far he deserves it.
Images by Andrew Skudder and Abbedabb