Leadership Lessons

“Being the first follower is an under appreciated form of leadership.”

Please watch this youtube video – you will notice it has nothing to do with birth.  It has to do with leadership, followers, creating a movement….

Or maybe it does have something to do with birth! See, this video can be many things to many people – that is the glory of this video and the reason I am posting it here. TO ME…this video is about the underground ‘alternative’ birthing community.

It started with a few nuts….Ina May Gaskin (all due respect given, Ms Gaskin and everyone on this list!), Dr Bradley, Dr Lamaze…the list goes on, Barbara Harper, Michel Odent, Sheila Kitzinger….

They were brave enough to stand out when nobody else was. They were often ridiculed by others afraid to follow them because any hint of doing so would bring criticism from friends and family. But some people braved the criticism and decided to follow…Midwives Alliance of North America, birth networks, several wonderful websites…

They are followers…not in the sense that you may think of when you first think of a “follower”. They do not follow for fear of ridicule or because to follow means they do no think of themselves (lemmings). They follow because they looked around and decided that it was the right thing to do despite the criticism. They stood up and started yelling, “This is the right thing to do! The cesarean rate is too high…too many interventions…too many babies lost…not enough respect is given to these families…we are losing too many mothers! ! ! ”

And so here we are – is it a movement? or is it a couple of nut jobs dancing/yelling out on the side of a hill. Do you think it’s the right thing to do to join in but are afraid of what others will say (or have said)?  Will you sit on your butt because the guy next to you says that you should even though your heart is telling you to stand up and join in?

I am a follower…I pray it becomes a movement, but it’s important enough to me to risk being a nutjob dancing on the hill in order to change the way things are in this country. I shout to you and all that can hear: IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY! IT CAN BE BETTER! BIRTH SHOULD BE SO MUCH SAFER THAN IT IS AND BE MORE RESPECTFUL FOR FAMILIES!

So…..make a choice and choose your role…I am a proud follower.