The Tragically Hip’s concert this past Saturday has proved to be a momentous awareness for me and seemingly the majority of Canadians both living local and abroad. I watched the full three hours of the concert in Kingston Ontario, and have been tender with tears and filled with awe since the emotional and striking performance. While words of joy, sadness, grief and celebration help me understand the sensitivity of my emotions, it is the exemplar qualities of human nature as a source of leadership that I am inspired by.
The humanness demonstrated on Saturday night encompasses qualities of vulnerability, courage, humility, selflessness, dedication and pride (to name just a few…) for an individual, a collective of individuals and a country as a whole.
My grandparents taught me early that it was a privilege to live in Canada and throughout my travels in my 20’s, I was reminded of that on countless occasions. While I have always been aware of this privilege, it was not until Saturday night that I felt a great amount of pride to be Canadian and gratitude to be living in Canada, a country that is guided by values that I consider to be integral components of leadership.
The courage and vulnerability begins with Gord Downie and his band mates. I was drawn to his courage and ability to embrace a cancer diagnosis, to stand in the center of a stage with his charismatic presence combined with tears, screams and peaceful gazes. I witnessed and I experienced the many realms of human emotion in just three hours. The humble presence throughout the triumphal show that Gord Downie chose to present as his legacy is inspirational. His leadership to his band, his fans and to Canada showed me a way of leadership with grace and glory in the most challenging of times.
The selflessness of CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, has also filled my heart with joy and hope. CBC stopped covering the Olympics in Rio for the full three hours so that the Tragically Hip’s Concert could be accessible to all. Thank you to CBC for connecting our National population through music. This decision to me is the heart of leadership, a selfless act that benefits the whole.
Thank you to the Tragically Hip, for helping me to step into the awareness of the privilege and pride of what it really means to be Canadian. This ability to care, connect and be in community is the most meaningful to me. Saturday night I listened, I cried, I connected and I was gracefully led into the space of my own humnanness, deeply connected with the humanness of every other Canadian.
This model of leadership is empowering and mirrors my own sense of willingness to lead with courage and vulnerability. May each one of us step into our own source of leadership as a means to look deeply into ourselves to be our best self available.
This is leadership. This is yoga. This is our life.