Today’s listeners, tomorrow’s leaders

Nelson Mandela is credited with saying, “The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow,” and my grandmother’s response to that quote is, “Gosh darn! That’s scary.”

Babers, that’s what we call my grandma, is right, because our world and society continue to change and evolve and become more confusing for the youth of today.

The type of people Babers would want me to aspire to be like are not always the ones youth see and hear about via television or social media. The true leaders we need to be seeking are behind the scenes working to provide for others, helping others rise up, acting with kindness, and most importantly, appreciating their blessings. The leaders youth of today need to aspire to be like live by principles.

Principles are important to the creation of tomorrow’s leaders. So many people in today’s society, find it difficult to abide by principles and find examples of them. I believe country music is the solution…one can learn positive principles from listening to lyrics of good ol’ country songs. To prove it to you, I’m going to sing a few tunes and allow you to hear just where today’s youth, tomorrow’s leaders, can get inspiration to live each day by.

Leaders work hard for what they believe in and usually do so without a thank-you or token of appreciation. The group Alabama is one of many music icons that has a song about working hard each and every day. Their song “Forty Hour Week for a Livin’” has a great message. Now, I’m warning you, someone stole all the money my parents gave me for singing lessons.

“There are people in this country that work hard everyday/Not for fame or fortune do they strive/But the fruits of their labor are worth more than their pay.”

This is how people should view their jobs, schoolwork, careers and beliefs. You should love what you do and do what you love. The outcome of your labor and passion will be full of purpose and success.

Leaders make sure those they are surrounded by rise up and don’t judge shoes they haven’t walked in. Kacey Musgraves’ country song “Biscuits” aligns with this principle.

“Just hoe your own row and raise your own babies/Smoke your own smoke and grow your own daisies/Mend your own fences and own your own crazy/Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy.”

No one is perfect, and the leaders of tomorrow must remember that no one has ever gotten tall by making someone else feel small.

Leaders should have a grateful heart and attitude…think about the people you enjoy being around and look up to…they are kind, genuine, and have contagious attitudes that spread through a room. Babers always says, “It’s hard to love a biting dog,” and that’s true if you think about it. No one is going to follow or believe in you if you resonate negativity. Tim McGraw’s song “Humble and Kind” is a great way to nail this principle.

“Go to church, cause your mama says to/Visit Grandpa every chance that you can/It won’t be a waste of time/Always stay humble and kind.”

Try to live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it.

“Hold the door, say please, say thank you/Don’t steal, don’t cheat and don’t lie/I know you got mountains to climb but/Always stay humble and kind.”

Lastly, count your blessings.

“Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you/When you get where you’re goin’/Don’t forget, turn back around/Help the next one in line/Always stay humble and kind.”

Principles and country music. There are many country songs that if you just listen to the lyrics, they will help you live a life that you will be proud of and one that makes the real leaders of tomorrow.

The next time you’re in your car or truck, walking or running with your phone, or just sitting on your back porch, tune into a country music station and really listen to the words that are being sung. Just like the popular Texas country artist Aaron Watson sings in his song “Bluebonnets…”

“Long gone like bluebonnets in the spring/We’re only here for a little while/It’s beautiful and bittersweet/So make the most of every mile/So pack light and love heavy/Give it all your heart and soul, so in the end/You won’t regret one thing/Life is like bluebonnets in the spring.”

Make your time and principles on earth count…be a leader.

I urge the youth of today to find a set of principles to live by and follow, because we are today’s listeners, tomorrow’s leaders.