The Giver

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Reflection #1: The Giver

While reading The Giver, the power and influence that Jonas accepted through his role as the new Receiver led to the emergence of several leadership qualities within him. The qualities that stood out the most to me were his vision, concern for the greater good, and acceptance of personal risk. In a community where sameness reigned, these qualities were non-existent in his fellow citizens. Jonas accepted his role as the Receiver, and gradually came to understand the power that he was now going to possess. He took on the pain of holding all of the society’s memories, so the society would not make the mistakes again. This allowed for them to live in a pain-free, careless, colorless world. While their lifestyle was simple, colorless, free of worry or pain, Jonas learned from the Giver that they needed to understand how life could be, and how it used to be, in order to live fuller lives. Jonas grew frustrated by the complacency that existed throughout the entire community, and as the Receiver, he knew that he had the power and influence to change this way of living. But how? I took the course “Leadership in Organizations” this past fall as an undergraduate student, and one of the most common themes we kept returning to was that a true leader has the greater good in mind, has a vision, and then works towards it. This is what sets a leader apart from a manager, and another theme that we reflected on a great deal was “managers do things right; leaders do the right thing.” Jonas truly accepted his role as a proactive leader when knew he must leave his society, his life, his family, in order for the community to accept the memories and change their way of living for the better. Jonas understood that “love” existed, and he then longed for it. I’m sure that this was part of his motivation for leaving, but the true reason for which he originally planned to leave was so that the community in which he lived could have the memories. Jonas...
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