By Margaret Randall
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Extra resources for First Laugh: Essays, 2000-2009
Tourists travel abroad and their lack of language knowledge makes it hard for them to communicate, they just speak English louder. ” I will never forget October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union put the first artificial satellite into orbit. And not only because it was a news item that gripped the world. Soviet ingenuity affected my own life in ways I would only understand many years later. Sputnik caught the United States by surprise and made our educators realize how deficient our country’s math and science education was.
With a grateful hand I reach, tap the lever, release the latch. As I get out of the car I glance to make sure the little door is really open. I insert and then quickly remove my credit card from the pump’s slot, remembering earlier times when I’d have saved a few pennies with Self Serve while others handed their key to an attendant who pumped gas, checked oil and tire pressure, and wiped windshields for a tip. The little screen says my credit card has been approved. Then the message changes: “Remove nozzle.
But I believe these erroneous claims to be indicative of something larger and deeply troubling. And I take issue with another aspect of this bigger and best mentality: the definition of leadership itself. Too often we take for granted that the biggest and best is entitled to lead; certainly that person or corporation or country itself believes this to be true. In this unchallenged assumption leading is transformed into leadership, and the latter is understood as a quality that has earned the right to define the game plan, set a standard, or make the rules.