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Thought Leader – A Cautionary Tale

Last updated on May 7, 2023

He was a leader of thoughts.
Thoughts marched to the beat of his drum… one after another in unison across the pages of Forbes, Inc., The Economist, the Washington Post, and The New York Times.
He could stroke a platitude ‘til it purred.
His readers (or, should we say, followers) marched right along with his parade of thoughts.
But it wasn’t always this way…
Once, long ago, he was a starving poet living in a tiny garret in the worst part of town. He was constantly hiding from the landlord, who tried to evict him for nonpayment of rent.
But, one day, his luck changed.
When surfing the Internet at the library, he saw an ad that said, “Thought Leaders Wanted.”
He thought to himself, “What the hell? Let’s give it a shot!”
And just like that, as if he had shot out of a cannon, in no time, he became THE #1 THOUGHT LEADER.
Other thought leaders resented his sudden rise to fame in the Thought Leader business. But they were powerless to stop him.
Thoughts gravitated to him and began their march with his thought leader’s wisdom.
He was #1 and lived like a king.
The rich and powerful came to him for advice and thought leadership.
Unfortunately, he hadn’t been the only one to respond to the “Thought Leaders Wanted” ad.
Soon other Thought Leaders appeared out of nowhere, challenging his thought leadership.
Finally, there appeared a challenger who knocked him out of the #1 spot.
Now he became just another disgruntled thought leader, banging and clanging his thoughts up and down the information superhighway.
So, he and all the other disgruntled thought leaders got the government to institute licensing requirements for thought leaders.
Then, they formed The Amalgamated Thought Leadership Union and convinced the government to require thought leaders to pay union dues even if they didn’t join the union.
It became a crime for anyone not licensed as a thought leader to express a thought in public.
It didn’t take long before even licensed thought leaders were forbidden to express a thought in public not first condoned by the Thought Leadership Council, a new Cabinet-level sub-department of the Justice Department. Members of the council became known as the Thought Police.
It took over twenty years of underground and above-ground resistance before the Anti-Thought Laws were finally repealed.
But it took longer before individuals were ready, willing, and able to think for themselves and express a thought in public.
Ken West is the author of Fresh Squeezed Flash Fiction. This story will appear in his forthcoming book, Freeze-Dried Flash Fiction.…/dp/B09NT8RFML
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

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