"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
- Robert Frost
I watched Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will, a very controversial film on Hitler's 1934 Nuremberg Rally put on by equally controversial Toronto film connoisseur, Reg Hartt, at the Cineforum (a make-shift theatre in his home). The movie blew me away. It was a powerful, real-life portrayal of Hitler's propaganda machine and the horrifying consequences of mass media manipulation. An eerie chill went through my spine as I saw aerial footage of column after column of endless soldiers marching through the streets of Nuremberg. Little German boys and girls hailing the Fuhrer with innocent smiles and outstretched hands of youthful idealism. Little German youths beating the drums of death. Hitler parting a sea of loyal soldiers. And watching a nation mesmerized by the spell of this diminutive, unassuming, and rather plain looking monster.
What really hit me though was Reg Hartt's commentary after the movie ended. A lady had kept coming to the viewing of that movie, over and over again. She had attended the viewing over sixteen times. When he asked her what she found so fascinating about the film. She told him that she was the young smiling girl in the movie looking down from a rooftop at Hitler's parade. She was with her Mother, Father, sisters, and brother. They were waiving the Nazi flag and cheering Hitler on. They were Jews. She was the only survivor in her family.
What flag are you waiving? What herd mentality have we accepted without further thought, without scrutiny? I challenge you to take the road less traveled by. It is uncommon knowledge that gives rise to uncommon leadership.
Do something uncommon. Go to the library and pick out a book that you would never touch in a million years. Watch a film in a genre that you rarely see. Attend a lecture on a topic that would make most people go, "Huh?" What is one thing you can do or experience this month that is uncommon? Go do it.
Sharif Khan is a writer, speaker, coach, and author of "Psychology of the Hero Soul," an inspirational book on awakening the Hero within and developing people's leadership potential. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.herosoul.com Blog: http://www.sharifkhan.blogspot.com Phone: 416-417-1259