Does the concept of Kingship/Pharaoh impact your practice, and if so, how?
With Heru-sa-Aset and Ra as my primary deities, it’s really hard to ignore the concept. I like to present myself as an easy-going dude, but scratch the surface and you’ll find that I really do watch everyone and everything around me very closely.
That started when I was in school. I watched my teachers very closely. I was a challenge to them. Some of them met the challenge very professionally. Some did not. A very few went beyond the strict guidelines of the job to make sure I was cared for despite, or maybe because of, the challenges I presented. I got a lot of ideas about what makes a good leader and what does not. I respected professionalism, but I loved those who went the extra mile. They’re the ones who put their snap judgements aside and really tried to see the situation clearly. They saw me not as an opponent that needed to be pounded into submission, but as a child who needed extra care. Those kinds of people are rare in the world, and I appreciate them whenever I see them.
I try to be one of those people, and it’s hard. It’s so much easier to get frustrated and angry. It’s easier to be dismissive. It’s easier to toss people aside or ignore them because they don’t quite fit your expectations.
It’s even harder with a group of people who have varying wants and needs. I’m not saying I was ever a king, but you’ll run into certain types of things in any leadership position. Saying “yes” to one thing means saying “no” to another. People expect you to take sides and give special treatment to friends. They get mad if you don’t, but then you’ll be running afoul of Ma’at if you do. The needs of the whole must always come first. It’s not personal. It can’t be. A good leader is not “The one who calls the shots.” A good leader is “The one who serves the whole.” Every action and every word must be weighed carefully. It’s a horrible job. I wouldn’t want it.
A farmer cultivates the land. A King, a good leader, cultivates people. You can get by with professionalism. In fact, if you can maintain that kind of order then you are a huge step ahead of the majority of people who can’t follow their own rules. Fairness, Ma’at, is the cornerstone of good leadership. But if you want to go from good to great, you need Ankh, you need to cultivate life. You must actively help those around you to grow strong and vibrant. Measure a king not by their own greatness, but by the greatness they inspire around them.
If you want to be royalty, then act like royalty. Be the better person. Live in Ma’at. Strengthen and care for your brothers and sisters.