This year, more than any in recent memory, has been a political hotbed of accusations, misinformation, prevarication and unprofessional behavior. One has to wonder, “What in the world (or USA) is going on here?
Didn’t we used to look to our leaders as Leaders? Weren’t we motivated by their education, articulation, humble beginnings, sincerity and humanity?
We now have candidates campaigning for the highest offices in our land, our states and for important local positions, who have questionable character, demeaning attitudes to most everyone in our country (and out of our country) and little or no accountability for their actions.
American author William Arthur Ward said, “Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation.”
Instead we have raucous derision of others (Get that crying baby outa here; Aren’t those blue hairs supposed to be getting a hip replacement this time of day? I’m more interested in people that fought, not a POW).
Not to mention deceit and rationalization (It was a typo; I never said that; It wasn’t my fault; I provided jobs for millions of Americans; I’m not going to apologize; I didn’t know it wasn’t allowed; I never said I graduated from X.)
The list goes on and on with no consideration or notice of our most important generation – those students presently being educated from pre-K through advanced degrees. How can we, in all conscience, condone behavior that rejects honesty, decency and, as William Arthur Ward said, inspiration and cooperation in our leaders? Our students are witnessing outrageous behavior on social media and on TV repeatedly, while our educators are doing their best to teach and model citizenship, responsibility, respect, role model behavior, honesty, leadership skills, cooperation, dignity, tolerance and more.
What would you say to a child who mimics the behavior of our politicians? Do you think it’s cute or does it prompt a discussion about great leaders and the traits that they exhibit?
Harry S. Truman said, “In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”
There are some outstanding leaders among us, some are the students who are watching and learning from the examples around them. Hopefully, we all have the courage to talk to our children about what a Leader should be.