When my muse was small he was by far the best football player in his class. One day after school, he said to his mother that he felt sorry for the ones that played badly because nobody ever chose them for their team. “You choose them next time then if you feel so sorry for them”, she replied.
At the next opportunity, when my muse was choosing a team, his first choice was the worst player in the class. Everybody thought he had gone mad, including the chosen player. As expected, the other captain chose one of the best.
Next my muse chose the next worse player. Everyone was confused. The happy opponent kept choosing good players, while my muse kept choosing the worse. At the end, the team of the worse, led by my muse, played against the team of the best, led by the other captain. And my muse’s team won.
We can move mountains when others believe in us. The worse football players in the class became the best when trusted by the best football player. Choosing them was like saying that they could do it, and they did.
That is why we need to get rid of bad leaders, because just by being there they make us all a bit worse.
Illustration: “Mine!” from the Feminist Gooseneck Barnacles series.