Why are our leaders messing up so badly?
I don't read the newspapers, but everywhere I've turned today I've heard snippets of news about our leaders cocking things up - everything from Bush's incompetency, to the lack of political will in tackling global warming, to the latest corporate scandal. I guess cock-ups have always been around but it somehow appears a lot worse right now.
But maybe the problem is not with our leaders but with us. I don't think it's so much that we've made poor choices in electing our leaders, but that we seem to have developed a greater willingness to project the blame for our ills on others, so as to relieve ourselves of our own responsibility. It's as though 'blame' is the purpose we subconsciously want to give to our leaders, and that is the one they are fulfilling for us.... and perfectly so.
Surely if things are going to be different it has to start with us. It's you and me that has to take responsibility for solving our problems and restoring peace and abundance to this little world of ours, not the politicians or academics or CEOs. And I don't think it's arrogant to think that we have the capacity to do this. In fact, is there anything more arrogant than to sit back and think that someone else is going to do it for us?
We so often look to momentous events as signposts to evolutionary shifts, and to great leaders for inspiration, but I don't think that's where it's at any more. It's to the small and subtle that we must look for profound change. Wherever we are now right now we each have this capacity to be still and let the heart of that stillness move us; or as Gandhi so succinctly put it, 'be the change you want to see in the world'.
Too often we underestimate
the power of a touch, a smile,
a kind word, a listening ear,
an honest compliment,
or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential
to turn a life around."
..... Leo Buscaglia
Perhaps it's as well for us to remember that forest fires start from just one match, and all the darkness in the world cannot put out the light from just one small flame.