Leadership, Honesty and Empathy
Leadership is a skill and telling the truth shows character.
As I sit here watching the sunrise - a new day dawns on what is seemingly a rather depressing outlook, both humanly and politically, although the sun beaming over the horizon is beautiful.
The reason I feel slightly depressed is because of how dishonesty so often appears to prevail over truth.
We are bombarded daily with untruths, exaggerations and when caught red-handed, denials. It seems peoples personal greed cancels out honesty. In other words, it is ok to lie if there is a gain to be made. It feels as if there is more of this behaviour today than there was. Perhaps it is just because we live in a constant 24-hour news cycle. But that doesn't make it any more acceptable.
Suppose we were to add up all the wrongs that have occurred in our world in the last year. If we added up all the injustices perpetrated on individuals or groups, purely for selfish gain by those in power. How much would that weigh - what would be the worth of all that pain caused to all those people. I suspect the measure is incalculable.
It is so easy to occupy the high ground of moral behaviour and point to those who have slipped below the standards you have set. So, bearing that in mind, we as a society still need to keep moving civilisation forward. If not, then we might as well give in to the depraved and live with no rules and revert to chaos. No one really wants that, so the only alternative is to keep nudging civilisation forward.
And that is why I am a little depressed right now. Civilisation seems to be falling backwards. It seems we are just incapable of choosing good leaders. And the odd good one that emerges gets out-voted by the large number of corrupt leaders. Heaven knows why we chose these disgraceful leaders in the first place. I guess they are con-men and we are ever gullable. We fall for the lies and believe the empty rhetoric because we want to believe we will be better off, despite our common sense telling us otherwise and end up voting them or at least, allowing them into power.
And then the chaos begins to reign down on us all.
I encourage my children to dream, to speak the truth and understand that it is their actions that will define them and determine who they are. To always try and treat others how they would want to be treated themselves. To be slow to take offence and quick to forgive. To work hard and persevere in all their endeavours and to laugh at themselves and smile at others.
To be perfectly honest, it often seems my children are the adults, and I am the child.
All that said, why can't we have leaders who grasp these, really very fundamental basics of leadership?
What is so hard to understand? When you tell lies, people stop believing you. When you make exaggerated claims, your credibility disappears. When you callously hurt innocent people, you will become a divisive person and vilified. This code of behaviour is not hard to understand, it is all pretty basic stuff, yet depressingly, seemingly beyond so many.
Who am I thinking of - Well, sadly the list is pretty extensive now and seems to be growing. I can start at home, and whether I go east or west, I don't have to go too far before the list starts growing.
I am not sure where all this went wrong, but right now the world feels dangerously out of kilter. There seems no balance - a bit like the world has got an ear infection. We need universal ear drops - cometh the moment - cometh the man (or woman) - but quickly please - there is so much to do which has been left undone.
On the bright side - many of the young today seem so much more enlightened and insightful, and that means there is hope. But the race is on. Will they take over in time before it is too late?
Richard Summers - Notes from England Suffolk - UK - 15th August 2019