“The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.” -Woodrow Wilson
Rather it’s captain of the basketball team or president of the United State a leader must want what’s best for their team. Some think of leading as a way to get others to do what they want them to do, leaving little or no room for error. Others may prey on the weakness and vulnerabilities of their teammates manipulating their fears to attain their loyalty. These tactics end up being a catch 22 for both parties because these actions lead to dissension and ultimately the extermination of the group.
Picture it: London, 1973, her ivory leg is being bandaged as she watches herself on television. She has been shot in the calf and is on the run.
Raven Darkholme also known as Mystique has the ability to change into anyone that she would like. As a woman of many faces she has the ability to remain in a certain skin for as long as she would like. She assumes a blazing blonde woman as a garb to conceal her strangeness.
Raven’s best friend, Charles Xavier is pretty swell also. With the ability to hear and control the minds of others, he begins to help people like himself and Raven to learn more about their uniqueness. Though he encourages others to embrace their gifts, he encourages Raven to hide herself. He trains her on how she should and should not show her skill. He wants to live in peace with humans to get them comfortable with mutants before admitting that they actually walk among daily.
She is surrounded by others like herself and still told to have restraints.
In comes Max Eisenhardt better known as Magneto, who becomes wildly in love with her flaming blue skin, agility and intelligence. He encourages her to embrace her true power and love the skin that she had been given. He totally disagrees with Xavier notions that they would be able to dwell peacefully with “normal” people. He begins to gather people who were willing to fight against their enemies instead of bowing to them.
Mystique tries to follow the lead of both of these men, complying to each assignment that she was given. After being told what to do for so long, she goes rogue and starts writing her own script. She begins to investigate the deaths of other mutants, she discovers that experimentation was performed on them to make a machine to destroy other mutants. She takes it upon her self to destroy the man responsible for these horrible things and anyone that stands in her way.
These power struggles lead to the brutal deaths of both humans and mutants 50 years later. These battles leave only a few mutants left to fight for the survival of their kind before the worlds is taken over by government weapons called Sentinels.
In hindsight, both Charles and Max realize that they could have prevented this from happening by allowing Raven to be herself. Encouraging her to embrace her skin and also create her own goals as a mutant and helping her accomplish them.
Though one cannot take back anything that we have done in the past as leaders, there is no better time like the present to begin to listen to teammates, friends, and lovers. When we try to make others as ourselves, we strip them of their individuality and leave them no choice but to take back their lives…. By any means necessary