It is so easy and tempting to put people's characters into box's, to pigeon hole them. To stick a label on an individual in a generalised way that may not truthfully represent them - at all. The painfully shy person who may come across as arrogant or the war hero who finally loses his nerve is of course, far from being a coward.
Perhaps Rule One - is that we are all Human Beings, and we all screw-up sometimes. We all on occasion, let ourselves down.
But, when individuals have done wrong, when they have transgressed the unwritten code of good conduct, if they haven't stood up themselves, calling them out is essential. Someone has to stand up to the "Bully's." Failure to do that is tantamount to supporting The Bully.
Every day, in too many countries, brave individuals risk their life by doing just that - calling-out the corruption, greed, crime and cruelty of their leaders. In many countries, they do this in the full knowledge that they - if caught, will be incarcerated, probably tortured and possibly executed. This is courage in the raw.
Yet we in the west, who hold so much power and who generally take the freedom that democracy gives us for granted, do very little to support these brave voices shouting from the darkness of oppression.
It seems the principles of kindness, empathy and honesty in leadership, far from being taken for granted, rather - are cast aside by so many people who achieve power. And they do this in favour of a seemingly unquenchable greed for power.
And we still stand by and watch - and more often than not - do nothing, and even worse - tacitly support them be selling our wares, quite often munitions and arms even if they are arms to hurt their own people further.
This world of ours is mucky; it is complicated, and we need to be prepared to get our hands dirty. If we are to affect positive change, to continue inching towards a more remarkable civilisation and a broader understanding, then deafening silence is not the answer. We need to be guided by our principles. We need to be courageous and stand up for what we believe in, prepared to disagree with colleagues and friends, make the arguments and listen to others. Dialogue is always the answer eventually, but we need to get involved.
We may never be able to ensure everyone in our world has equal opportunity, but how all other animals are treated, including humans - affects us all. We should not turn a blind eye to other's suffering. We should support the persecuted and fight for them where and whenever we can.
Perhaps the most important single thing any of us can do is to ensure we select honest leaders with the qualities of leadership of which we are so severely in need.
It is a bit like choosing something to eat, in as much as do we choose the healthy option or the easy option. We all need a bit of tough love at times. A diet of fast food, unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks and beer is not good for us. That will inhibit our quality of life and send us to an early grave.
The same can be said of leadership. The USA and the UK are two cases in point, where we have to find a much better way of choosing our leaders. No thinking person in their right mind would honestly say out-loud that Trump and Johnson were the best people for the job?
Serious companies invest many resources in finding the right leader because they know that the right leader will determine direction and outcome.
Surely everyone would agree that the amount of money spent on choosing the American President is obscene and the number of people who actually selected our current Prime Minister as leader of the Conservative Party and thus Prime Minister, is equally improper.
It is clear to me that the democratic process in both the USA and the UK should be over-hauled. It is utterly unacceptable that in both these great nations, and in this day and age, we have such dysfunctional leadership. Putting aside the adage "we get what we deserve" both these countries can, could and should do better.
Rick - Suffolk - UK - 27th - September - 2020