Where are our Leaders?
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi
“It’s official. I need to do something. All of the signs indicate I have to get involved.” I say to Greg the other day after my vision workshop.
Like falling dominoes, there have been many instances over the last several days leading me to this conclusion.
Friends deactivate their Facebook accounts or friends un-friend each other over political positions.
In writing my new book on calm, I continually refer to responding versus reacting and going deeper to find meaning versus playing on the surface.
“Be unapologetically you,” are wise words I remember from a dear friend who recently passed away. Due to her passing, their significance resounds in my ears almost daily.
So, what do world events have to do with child advocacy? Why am I writing about seemingly political issues when I typically blog about life and family?
Well, as you will see, this has everything to do with family.
Where are our leaders?
Throughout history, there have been great leaders and we can name many of them. We recall the words of John F. Kennedy when he said; “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” His successful mission to go to the moon by the end of the 1960’s was brought to fruition with Apollo 11’s landing in July 1969.
We remember his call to service with his inaugural address, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Or his inclusion of Germany on the world stage when he said, “Ich bin ein Berliner.”
We can recite Martin Luther King Jr.’s words of “I have a dream,” or Mahatma Gandhi’s words about being the change we wish to see in the world.
But when asked about great leaders today, people often stare blankly. People frequently say, “We don’t really have any or a name doesn’t pop up in my head.”
And then, Donald Trump comes to town. He demonstrates leadership and like dying people in the desert, American’s drink from the sand.
What defines a great leader?
In all of my leadership work for corporations, I’ve found great leaders have three things in common:
- Great leaders inspire a vision.
Donald Trump has done exactly that. He’s created a vision. We may not agree with his vision, but he certainly created one. He created one many wanted and needed to hear. Again, we may disagree with the vision, but the vision does exist. That’s a fact, not an alternative fact, but an actual one. 🙂
- Great leaders are role models.
As a role model, Donald Trump lacks characteristics many of us want to emulate. So, what do we want a great leader to model?
I think many of us would agree we’d want a leader to have integrity. We’d want a leader to demonstrate authenticity, humility and wisdom. We’d also want a leader to stand up for what’s right, to show respect, to be courageous and of service. We’d also probably want him or her to make a positive difference in the world.
- Great leaders share a common purpose.
Next, great leaders share a common purpose. They are unifiers. Great leaders bring people together. They stand up for everyone by doing what’s necessary for the many, not the few. In short, they create community.
So, where are our leaders?
Actually, there are many in the world today. We can look to Pope Francis as he electrifies his community and sets a new direction, or Angela Merkel as she reaches out to embrace the world’s refugees. Another example is the Dalai Lama as he’s given his life to campaign for peace, nonviolence, democracy, and reconciliation.
Here’s a twist, how about Derek Jeter for being a stand up guy? Or Bono as he says, “Real leadership is when everyone else feels in charge,” and then proceeds to convince world leaders to relieve debt, give increased relief for AIDS and combat poverty in stricken countries.
But, I said this article has to do with life and family, how so?
Where are our leaders?
Today, in America, as we desperately reach out for someone to bring us to shore, where are our leaders?
They are here.
We are here.
They are here, because we are here.
We can be our own leaders.
We can be our own leaders.
We’re already role models to our children, so like great leaders, we can model the way.
We can show integrity.
We can demonstrate authenticity, humility and wisdom.
We can stand up for what’s right, show respect, be courageous and of service.
We can also make a difference.
We can definitely be our own leaders.
We can be our own leaders, because we have to be.
There is no one else. The great leaders of today are not in leadership positions in the U.S.
We will be our own leaders.
We will bring us to shore.
We will do this not because it is easy, but because it is hard.
We will do this because we need to be the change we wish to see in the world.
We will do this because we have a dream.
Another word for dream is vision. Great leaders inspire a vision, so what is our vision?
Well, as parents, we envision a better world for our children. One involving love not hate, faith not fear, abundance not constraint, inclusion not divisiveness and peace not violence.
So, to build this world, we need to be loving, faithful, abundant, inclusive and peaceful.
We need to remove hate, fear, constraint, divisiveness and violence from our approach to building a better world for our children.
So, what are we doing today? What are we doing and how are we modeling a better world for our children?
Are we showing love?
Are we filled with faith?
Are we feeling abundant?
Are we being inclusive?
Are we demonstrating peace?
Remember leaders are role models and we, as parents, are role models to our children every day. So be honest, are our thoughts, deeds and actions supporting our dream of a better world?
Right now, America is in crisis. Only by purposely burying our heads in the sand can we ignore the crisis in our country today.
So, how can we dream of a better world with love, faith and the like when we’re in crisis mode?
We can do this by being the leaders we wish to see in the world. We can do through our every thought, deed and action. We can model it – everyday without exception.
This is not a passive response to recent world events, it is an active one.
When we see a dramatic news headline and want to lash out – we dive deeply into the story to gather more information and perspective, then respond not react to the actual news; not its headline.
When we read of divisive, limiting or disrupting decisions from the White House or its officials, we call our local, state and national representatives – calmly and immediately.
When we learn of unfair or unjust practices, we protest with others – peacefully.
When we confront someone who’s opinions differ vastly from our own, we show tolerance for another’s opinion and if the opportunity presents, try to let them see a different point of view.
When we become tired, we reinvigorate ourselves by remembering great leaders today, knowing of their unwavering commitment for their cause.
When the seemingly vast divide in this country disheartens us, we reach across the aisle to understand the other’s issues and incorporate them into our solutions.
When we become fearful, we reach out to like-minded individuals and form community so we know we are not alone. There is strength in the collective.
When we feel divided, we remember, as parents, we share a common purpose. We all want a better world for our children.
We inspire a vision. We act as role models. We share a common purpose.
We are leaders.
We are our own leaders.
We are our children’s leaders.
So, let us lead.
Let us lead from the front.
Let us lead from the front together – with love, faith, abundance, inclusion and peace.
And like dominoes, let’s watch the hate, fear, constraint, divisiveness, and violence fall away – forever.
As always, wishing you joy (and now peace),
This is the best written piece on leadership I’ve seen. Please publish it everywhere you can.
Thanks, Cathy Rumery