Piper James Cleland Richardson V.C. Leadership - Age 20.

Piper James Cleland Richardson V.C.
Leadership – Age 20.

Remember to Breathe

What is leadership I ask myself? Where can I go to find it? Who has it? Do I have it?

With some recent exploration into these very questions I find that leadership is truly in each one of us. It may be in that person whose vision allows everyone to make it their own, or it could be that grandmother whose silent steadiness teaches and inspires. Perhaps it is that person who found their way through adversity or from another who has impacted us by the power of their message.

When I think about our film I realize it is about leadership. It is recognizing leadership in the unlikeliest of persons because we made assumptions. Jimmy is young. He has not had the opportunity for an experienced life nor gained the wisdom of eldership yet Jimmy is a leader finding his years in a single moment in that fractured world of the Great War. Jimmy, who stood before his team exposed and vulnerable to all those against him, brought his breath to the pipes that called to the heart and soul of those who followed. In asking, “Wull I gie em wund?”, Jimmy chose to breathe, he chose in an instant leadership…

After three amazing days exploring leadership at the Justice Institute of British Columbia I am empowered and feeling enriched. We have learned how we are perceived…our strengths and weaknesses…how we can improve ourselves for the betterment of others…what greater reward can there be but to give back? Perhaps we will never face the adversity of our Jimmy, but we can at least learn to let go of the stress and allow ourselves to absorb the wellness of our lives. We must remember to breathe. However, this is not about that daily rhythmic steady pulse that beats within our hearts and souls, this is about remembering to truly breathe…to breathe deeply for our personal wellness. In doing so we discover our abilities, we bring calm to the stress, we find the beauty in the affects.

As I sit here wandering through my words I begin to feel in-studio searching for the magic of these last few days. How to remind us all to breathe and at the same time relate my self-discoveries to you through the sung voices of others? There is of course the classic rock, “Breathe” written and performed by Pink Floyd where Roger Waters sings, “Look around and choose your own ground”. Or we have Country’s Faith Hill who finds comfort in the leadership of the love she has with another, “Cause I feel you breathe” when encountering “As the walls come tumbling down”. Regardless of your tastes or the messages you find, they are yours to work with or to find your own meanings.

Finding our leadership selves amidst these busy days of our lives has been an insightful internal search. Our instructor at the JIBC, Kathryn Thomson, led us with her gift of leadership, and recognized our journey together by reminding us to breathe. And like our film’s Jimmy, we found ourselves…we found our strengths…we found leadership. Kathryn…you are an inspiration…a gift to us all…thank you!

I invite our readers to comment: “Who do you identify with as leaders and what are their qualities you respect?”

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was captivated by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Over time Paul became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography, narration and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was inspired when he learned Weir visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. "Gallipoli", the film, led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii, Gallipoli, North Macedonia and Salonika. When Paul first watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests was a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, Paul believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


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