Two days ago, I finally watched “The Iron Lady”, a British movie based on the life of Margaret Thatcher. She was the longest-serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the 20th century. Perhaps she was also the most controversial. She certainly was one leader who made Britain great again among nations. I was aware enough in the 80s to follow Thatcher’s term in office fairly well, and the movie refreshed my memories of certain events, as well as provided certain details that I was not privy to back then. I remember the riots, the Falkland War, and the IRA bombings.
Thatcher’s time in office was a time of turbulence. The movie further highlights her actions behind the scenes, and I dare say that Margaret Thatcher would fit the description of a democratic dictator. She regularly would go against the grain of sentiments in her cabinet and on the streets. Like her or hate her for it, she believed in her own principles and lived them out boldly. She didn’t believe that the majority was always right. I don’t either, by the way. I do not necessarily like all aspects or policies of Margaret thatcher, but I doubt that there is any human who ever existed that anyone liked all parts of. Which brings me to my point.
One line in the movie that I will not forget is the statement that her father made to her in her younger years:
“Never run with the crowd, Margaret; go your own way.”
And she did just that, though it earned her dislike and hatred, as well as commendation and admiration. I am reconciled to the fact that regardless of what position you take in life, it will earn you both friends and adversaries. Spineless people attempt to please other people. Truly brave people dare to define themselves and leave it to others to decide whether to be admirers or hecklers. Perhaps I can identify with Margaret because I am like her a maverick.
I am certainly amused at how we extol the virtues of a listening leader today, yet almost all the world leaders that history refers to as “great” were men and women who largely wouldn’t listen to or follow the crowd or conventional ways: Alexander, Napoleon, The Caesar, Mao, Margaret Thatcher, and Steve Jobs. Yet, these traits are generally derided today in a special mix of hypocrisy. These days, it is fashionable to attempt to please the crowd, though listening to that crowd sometimes one can only conclude that only a mad (or weak) leader would always defer to the voice of the crowd or of convention.
I will rather boldly live by the principles that I truly believe in, regardless of what anyone else thinks of them. And I mean anyone. Life will surely be meaningless if reduced to a popularity contest. At least, my life will be. To each their own. I am proudly maverick.
definition: an unorthodox or independent-minded person.
synonyms: individualist, nonconformist, free spirit, unconventional person, original, trendsetter, bohemian, eccentric, outsider.