Leadership is hard. Decisions have to be made, and they are not always great. As we come to the end of The Two Towers, Sam finds himself in a situation where he genuinely believes that Frodo is dead. We find out very soon after that he is not, but at the time, Sam does not realize that, so he is faced with a dilemma. The ring was never meant to be his burden, but he did not really see many alternatives.
“And the Council gave him companions, so that the errand should not fail. And you are the last of all the Company. The errand must not fail.”
This is the type of mindset I would expect to hear from someone in the military. Our brave countrymen are committed to the mission at hand, and they understand how the mission transcends the individual. Sam did not want to take the ring, but in this situation, the alternative was to allow the enemy to eventually stumble upon it and bring all of Middle Earth crumbling down.
He made the obvious decision and took the ring, but it is obvious that the consequences of that decision were truly heavy. He even put the ring on immediately to hide from the orcs that were on their way to find him.
“The world changed, and a single moment of time was filled with an hour of thought.”
Naturally, part of this change was because Sam had never put on the ring before. He did not understand the type of alternative reality someone with experience by wearing the ring, but this is also I think the larger statement about his life. It is different to be the companion of the ring bearer than it is to be the ring bearer. As the only member of the fellowship so actually accompanying the ring, he had to make decisions. He had to do what he could to again support the mission. The mission was of utmost importance. Yes, his perception of the world was altered by wearing the ring, but the world itself was also altered by the simple fact that he now had to make decisions he was never faced with before.
This new role of leadership was not accepted immediately however. One of my favorite lines of the book shows how Sam felt about his own intellectual capacities.
“Don’t trust your head, Samwise, it is not the best part of you.”
We are not always ready to make decisions, but we are occasionally put into leadership positions where that needs to happen. Sam could not rely on anyone else at this point because there was literally no one else with him. Even though he didn’t want to trust his head, he had to because there is no other head to put his trust in.
Many people are not comfortable with leadership, but decisions have to be made, and sometimes we all have to make decisions. The world is going to feel like it changed, but like Sam, if we did nothing, great evil might happen. If we see that coming, we have to do what we need to. We have to prevent evil if we can even if we are uncomfortable carrying the flag.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002), 732, Kindle Edition.
 Ibid., 734.
 Ibid., 740.