“You better watch out. You better not cry.  You better not pout; I’m telling you why.  Santa Claus is coming to town.”   

If someone began to sing this tune, most people would be able to join in and sing along.  This classic melody represents one of the most well-known Christmas icons in the world.  This classic melody represents the one and only Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, or even St. Nicholas.  The jolly man has numerous names, yet no matter what you prefer to call him, this legend is the image of moral leadership for the simple reasons that he teaches children the difference between what is right and wrong, demonstrates the importance of helping others less fortunate rather than only focusing on ourselves, and he impacts the lives of children and adults across the entire world.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, moral leadership means to lead in a manner that includes the responsibility for ensuring standards of moral and ethical conduct.  Upon hearing this term most people would mentally picture the pronounced Nelson Mandela, the honest Abe Lincoln, or even the highly respected Gandhi.  However, Santa Claus is just as much a moral leader than any of these celebrated men.  From a young age children look up to the jolly man in the red suit.  They are taught that if they behave, Santa will reward their commendable actions with gifts they ask for.  This idea of Santa Claus leads the youth of the world to learn the difference between what is right and what is wrong:  how to act in order to be rewarded.  Children are taught that moral, respectable human beings are eventually rewarded for their generous deeds; somehow or some way they will benefit from their selflessness.  The lessons they learn when they are young carry into their adult life.  The lessons taught by the saintly idea of Santa Claus shape these children into honorable, worthy adults that will eventually pass on their newly created morals to their blood line.

Santa Claus does not only educate the youth of the world on what is right and what is wrong, the saintly figure also demonstrates the extreme importance of aiding the less fortunate.  No matter how bad we believe our lives to be, there is always someone else in this world that is having a worse time than us.  It is often said that, “What we take for granted, someone else is praying for.”  However, most people do not make use of what they have.  They only worry about themselves and the immediate issues in their lives. If they would just take a moment to step away from the chaos these people could see that they could use what they have to help others who do not have nearly enough.  Moral leaders look to emphasize assisting anyone in need of help and the image of Santa Claus is a model of giving back.  People imagine him as a kind, old man who helps those who do not have hardly any necessities at all.  Children look up to jolly old St. Nicholas.  He is something that they can believe in, something that brings them joy.  They are willing to do whatever he says or does just because of the amount of respect they have for him.  Santa Claus helps the less fortunate; therefore, the children want to do whatever they can in their own power aid as well.  A moral leader is said to lead through their actions; actions speak louder than words.  St. Nicholas does just that.  He acts in a kind, selfless manner and as a result, the children mimic the man they admire.

Santa Claus is a universal and generational phenomenon.  There are innumerable versions and stories about this mysterious being, from the catholic version of St. Nicholas to the Russian version of Grandfather Frost. Yet, all are connected and portray the much similar concept of a caring, loving man who gives back to children all across the world.  The legend never dies either.  For generations upon generations, stories of the mystical toy maker have been passed down.  When I picture a moral leader, I think of someone who really makes an impact on the lives of countless human beings, someone who is somehow going to factor in changing the world, even if it is only a minute difference.  Santa Claus perfectly fits this description.  How many leaders can truly impact every country in the entire world?  Besides the legend of Santa Claus, the answer is, none.  This man of Christmas is known from China to the Americas. Children everywhere look up to him.  They believe in his words and actions, they look to behave as Santa Claus does.  This is not detrimental either.  Santa Claus is the model of a perfect human being; one who cares for people, always does what is right, and makes sure that those who do not have enough are accommodated.  A moral leader leads by example, just as Santa Claus does.

When people imagine moral leaders and leadership you think probably of Webster’s definition; leading in a manner that includes the responsibility for ensuring moral and ethical conduct.  To me, moral leadership means even more than that.  Moral leadership is when someone truly takes control, and through moral principles impacts the largest amount of people they can reach. It means making an honest difference in the lives of people around the world. There have been many tremendous moral leaders that have performed most of these standards; however, none of them have demonstrated what moral leadership truly is like Santa Claus has. Santa Claus is the classic example of what moral leadership means to me because he teaches children the difference between what is right and wrong, demonstrates the importance of helping others less fortunate rather than only focusing on ourselves, and he impacts the lives of children and adults across the entire world.  “He’s making a list.  He’s checking it twice.  He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.  Santa Claus is coming to town.” 

Maria Trivelpiece

Hazleton Area High School

11th Grade High School Student

Views: 180

Tags: #leadershipcontest


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