There are those who believe themselves to be leaders but are too weak of character and too lazy to put the work in or acquire the knowledge required to be an effective leader. They boast and brag but remain in the background in times of adversity and struggle. They shield themselves at the expense of those around them looking to take credit for success but deflect responsibility for failure. These are not true leaders rather they are cowards. Their actions inspiring nothing more than contempt from those they are tasked with leading and their tenure is ultimately doomed to fail.
Peter Parker (Spider Man) is famous for saying with great power comes great responsibility. Real leaders understand this, they stand by their people. They do not look to point fingers as a way of absolving themselves. They understand they must be willing to stand up and accept criticism. They immerse themselves in the job and work tirelessly to acquire the knowledge that is essential to be a successful leader. They willingly listen to others and heed their advice. They lead by motivation not by fear, they inspire confidence by their actions. They understand that without these traits their leadership is simply an illusion based on nothing more than bravado and arrogance.
The time for these individuals is usually short and once their time has passed history will record that their tenure as a so-called leader was nothing but an illusion. Leaving them with nothing but time to wonder how they could have been a real leader rather than coward.
In many of the open America protest, it is not unusual to see signs saying or paraphrasing the familiar refrain:
“Give me liberty or give me death.”
But what many in this country have forgotten is liberty is not something granted to us at birth. Nor is it something that is maintained without a willingness to acquire the knowledge required to see its leaders’ real character and use that knowledge to hold them to a standard of accountability that is high, if not higher than they would have themselves.
It is true that even when the people have a desire to inform and educate themselves on the issues that impact their daily lives, an individual of poor character thrust into a position of leadership who lacks integrity and accountability and whose vision is only the advancement of their selfish agenda can through lies and misinformation blind the masses to the truth and in the process withhold the very liberty they seek to maintain
Unfortunately, America today has allowed our country’s polarization along political lines to supersede the thirst for knowledge. It has become all too easy for many of America’s so-called “leaders” to manipulate the masses. To have them bend to their will, wrongly believing that these leaders act in their best interest.
The open America protest is one such example. Through a campaign of misinformation and lies, leadership at the highest levels many have been led to believe that the very measures implemented to protect them are an infringement on their liberty. They rally around the same leaders who perpetrate the misinformation to advance their own economic and political agendas.
The dangers of not acquiring the knowledge required to identify one’s leaders’ character is not a new concept. John Adams warned us of it in 1765 when he said.
Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of nature to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in van, has given them understanding and a desire to know. Still, besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to the most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers.
We should heed his words, for it would be foolhardy to believe the concept of America is forever. Lest we forget that the history of the world shows our country is but a baby. One that will never get the chance to fully mature unless we cast aside our differences, stop allowing the few to manipulate the many, and come to value knowledge needed to educate ourselves on those would-be leaders of questionable character.