Monday, November 03, 2008

Wanted: Leadership

The conventional wisdom is that Barack Obama will be elected president on Tuesday. The jury is, of course, out as to how effectively he will govern. He is mighty in speech, but will he deliver in leadership? Can he live up to be the uniter he positions himself to be, who can tap into the strengths that unite us rather than exploiting the fears that divide us?

A dearth of leadership runs across the board. Politics. Business. Sports. Entertainment. There is a sometimes mumbling, sometimes piercing yearning across the generations, and it is a desperate cry for someone, anyone, to lead.

Mr. Obama, the hour appears set for you to step into this void. Many, including myself, are intrigued by you but are skeptical. Are you up for the challenge?

And Americans--are we up for the daily challenge of being leaders in whatever spheres, small or large, in which we find ourselves? In our homes, our neighborhoods, our places of work? Are we being the change we want to see in others more powerful and influential?

Because we can't fully implicate Obama, McCain, Bush, or anyone else for a lack of leadership until we have stared into the silence of our own failure to speak up. Until we have gazed at the disappointing eyes of those we have let down once again. Until we have taken an unpopular stand, sacrificed much for the sake of something greater than ourselves, loved our neighbor as our self.

In the end, those of us in a position of leadership spawn the communities, workplaces, houses of worship, families or countries that we deserve. We reap what we sow. I pray that we are scattering seeds of character that will blossom into a more compassionate, sustainable world that truly is change we can believe in.


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