Is this the “change” that is being promoted around the country, as the presidential race goes into overdrive? What changes will we see from the first black president or woman president and just what is expected – or being promised?
I am by no means anywhere near an expert upon the intricacies of present political activity, either here in the UK, or across the “pond”, but I can speak with some experience of a woman leader.
As Britain’s first lady prime minister, Margaret Thatcher quickly became a respected leader, because she showed true grit and determination in carrying out her policies and beliefs. She remained resolute against Russia, and during the armed conflict that was the Falklands War. She introduced the concept of a “share owning democracy”, with all the dubious benefits this status inferred.
But for all of her excellent characteristics and beliefs she remained a politician and a part of the political machine that fails to understand or communicate effectively with the electorate. She was popular but we did not see a transformation in the democratic environment. Indeed her single minded determination to force her beliefs through, no matter what, saw her eventual undoing.
And so it is not the physical attributes of our leaders which might lead us to anticipate change. It can only be the concise words that are repeated time and time again, and do not buckle under scrutiny. The passion with which to put across a view can be learned, but the passion with which leaders embrace the electorate comes from deep within and is impossible to fake.
If you look at news footage of someone like Roosevelt or Churchill, their eyes were all important indicators of what was going on in thier head and heart – nuggets of coal in the snow they were not. Weeping at human suffering and loss was real.
Leadership that genuinely cares about the human condition comes from within and is born out of personal sacrifice and suffering. Only then can these experiences identify the need for change, and fuel real and meaningful change that will raise the spirits and self esteem of the people, giving them a sense of purpose and reason to strive – not a sense of renewed frustration six months after the election fever has died away.
Striving is something inherent within us and continually ignored, even with the advent of this 21st century. For all of our efforts, the rewards seem to be increasingly dubious in providing us with any true sense of fulfillment.
Since the middle of 2007 our financial markets have been experiencing a crisis of confidence the like of which we have never seen before – ever.
Indeed if we go back twenty or thirty years we can see a change in the social climate that questions where we are going as a species.
Fifty odd years ago when I was a child you could leave the keys in your car outside your house with impunity, and the house was never locked – that was just 10 miles from the centre of London, not some rural back water.
Stress was a word that related to huge iron girders that held up buildings, or formed the construction of ocean going liners. Today it is applied to the human condition and does more to put into perspective the reality of modern day life than any other word or phrase.
Whilst it is not a part of the human condition to go back, and I am not advocating a return to my childhood, we seem to have become more aggressive towards each other – the increasing number of murders committed by kids in their teens is beyond my comprehension.
Political Correctness has replaced “a love of thy fellow man (or woman)”.
We strive to achieve greater wealth, which we are told we are succeeding at, albeit that it seems to arrive by accumulating vast personal debt.
Within the framework of modern society lies the need for change of a more fundamental nature. Whilst our technological achievements are staggering, even in just the last 50 years, our ability to get on with each other remains unchanged over the centuries. Continuous conflict and global warming are evidence of this state of affairs and show little signs of improving.
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