The Capital and the Countryside

Who needs leaders? Interesting piece from The Economist. It cites the strength of the people hit most severely by the Tohoku earthquake in March and draws the distinction between them and their counterparts in Tokyo. Hint: The national “leaders” in Tokyo don’t compare very well to those local leaders doing real work right where it counts: in the community, for the people. I’m not surprised. This characteristic isn’t exclusive to the Japanese, although a stunning number of Japanese have certainly internalized the quality completely as we’ve all seen recently. Everyone knows who the real leaders are in any group. They are obvious. They’re rarely the ones wrapped in suits sitting on TVs or in central governments talking about leading. Instead, they’re the people who do. And they do for others. They may talk to organize other people but the very essence of who they are is expressed in their doing. You can’t miss them.

Image: Tokyo, Japan, 2008

Image: Kijimadaira, Japan, 2008.

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