Some dipped their quills in viscous, pitch-black ink. Some preferred pulling deadly triggers. Others utilized the sharpness of their tongues and the brightness of their minds to advocate and adhere diplomacy. Some governed people, many led ideas. There’s a myriad of ways on how to lead, and you can choose any. But the thing is, you really don’t need the “how” on leading, it’s the “who you’re going to be” that counts.

In my decade and a half of existence, I can say that I’ve denuded a minuscule portion of life and its woes. The strident and blatant streets of where I grew up started its days with bawls and holler, as the simultaneous crackling of bones and stretching of muscles imitated the sound of a well-oiled machine. It was mundane to say the least, at best monotonous. But once, I remember waking up seeing my father go out the house, with tools in his hands and nothing but a smile and determination to find cars he could go crawl under and fix. Later that day he would knock on our door, with half of his body covered in dark, muddy oil. He never had a diploma, but that didn’t hinder him. I saw this scene every day, and every day it heartened my will.

Something was stirred in my chest, like the king of the jungle waking up from its long slumber. It roared, it sparked a flame deep inside of me. It struck me: my FATHER is a LEADER, a true leader. A leader not of an army of men nor of a great village, but of us his family, his life. He was able to lead us, inspire us, incite us. He need not use a pen, nor a gun, and neither was he a politician. He was a father of two, a husband of a loving wife. He led with something more vital, with something most of us often overlook. He led with his integrity, his selflessness. He led with his very own heart.

From that moment on that burning fire, it molded me. It is that flame that taught me not to look at the glass as half-empty nor half-full, but a glass in which I can pour more water to fill. It reminded me to be receptive, and to always have a knack for inspiriting others with words and actions. My father didn’t write the founding papers of our nation, nor did he fight those who tried to enslave our people. He also didn’t serve justice to those who needed it but, he is my father. A true leader who have led his own feet, who was able to stray away from the path life gave to him. And as Tom Peters once said, “True leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” He has led me and now, IT’S MY TURN. I will lead. I will lead just like how my father did.