Many of my neighbors, friends and family question why I leave my Christmas decorations and lights up so long after December 25. I keep them up through the Epiphany (that’s today). Epiphany symbolically marks the date that the three magi came to the stable. My interpretation of their visit, and yes, it is just a lay interpretation, is that the “thought leaders” of the time were now aware of Christ’s birth.
Yes, certainly the humble shepherds also knew of the birth, but were they going to share the news across the lands? Even if they did, would they be considered reliable sources? Would the public listen to shepherds, or would they listen to “kings?”
This crossed my mind several times recently while reading a variety of opinions on topics as diverse as the economy, diet and exercise (yes, we’ve just crossed the resolution starting line), and other outlooks for 2014. For some topics, I prefer to listen to those “who do.” In other cases, I’m more inclined to those “who analyze.” And there are other beliefs I come to because of a “gut check.”
In today’s world, who do you look to as a thought leader? Is it the same person or the same resource that you use for every subject matter? How much time do you spend to gather in reliable input? And is it faith, fact or experience that helps you take that intuitive leap to understanding?
This year I hope that each of us (me included) spends just a bit more time evaluating our “thought leaders,” be they kings or shepherds.