Both a “Tiffany Sun” article about “how being spoiled ruined my life” (on medium.com) and Dr. Kevin Leman’s book “The Birth Order Book” shed light on this topic.
My “Delayed Development” and “The Event”
Born the youngest of nine (four older boys, and four older girls) and blessed with two loving parents, I began life with ten people telling me what to do, how and when to do it, or if it was more trouble than it seemed worth, to just do it for me.
If you are the last born to your family “LISTEN UP!”
Although not that well off, my father’s hard work kept us going. His career caused us to move several times so I had to learn how to make friends quickly. I was in eight different schools within eight years.
As the end of high school approached, I got a job in the kitchen of an institution. First, I work filling and emptying the Dishwashing machine. Then over into “pot sinks” washing pots and pans. The mental acuity required was minimal.
I handled it well… find where it arrives dirty, clean it, find where to put it, done.
Then things got just a bit more complex. I move into the kitchen proper. Still, there were plenty of people to tell me what to do until…
One day the Chef was away, others were sick or unavailable, and the kitchen was vastly understaffed.
It needed to be decided who would take the lead. Walter was close to my age (maybe a bit younger).
He had not been working there near as long as I had. Walter was put in charge.
I was upset within myself… as the old adage goes, “I says to myself ‘why was I not put in charge!’”… some shred of common sense within me quickly answered; “If you had been, how would you prepare today’s meal”. Lying to yourself doesn’t work a whole lot better than lying to others, so I had to admit “I have no idea… I guess just doing what I’m told won’t cut it when I am to be in the lead”. The shred of common sense answered, “That is why Walter is in charge.”
I answered that shred in no uncertain terms that day “I do not EVER want that to happen to me again!”. I began to watch what people did; ask myself why; try to figure out what should happen next; try to prepare for it; read to gain knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. This was indeed a turning point in my life.
Born in 1951, I retired a couple of years ago. I have been a lead hand, team lead, manager, elder in two Christian fellowships, also a father and grandfather that sought to lead the way for others.
While no longer so inclined to be a follower of men, I am a follower of the “Word that was made flesh” and “The word of the Most High” given to me in my own language.
It states “…He that ruleth over men must be just, Ruling in the fear of God.” (2 Samuel 23:3); and
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: …” (Proverbs 29:18). I often say “You cannot be a good leader without being a good servant”… you must lead in love.
There may be many reasons you are sheltered from making decisions, planning the course or taking responsibility for situations or even people.
If you are a chronic follower, ask yourself if that is truly the way you want your life to continue.
My experience tells me, looking back over my life, the times I led well bring me far more pride and joy than the times I followed well.