Leadership and Freedom

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Everyone knows that freedom isn’t free. Just ask a veteran, a suffragette, advocate for social justice, or one who simply wants the freedom to be and love who they choose. I live in a place that claims as a central tenet that all people are created with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Therein lies the problem in a diverse republic where each person has one voice, one vote…no one has the same definition of what those rights mean and what obligations it places on the individual in support of the whole country. Because while we do have freedoms in this country, it doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want.The framers were aware of the potential disasters of what can happen when a civilized republic that stands for unified rights and freedoms becomes secondary to individual wants, desires and hierarchies of power. And yet, remarkable as these men were (and future influential powerful women) the document that governs us is fluid enough to adapt and grow with time and cultural advancement. It is the responsibility of all who serve and hold leadership positions in our “government” to be dedicated to the republic as a whole, and the individual needs of its diverse populace to nourish and sustain it.

It wouldn’t be a lie if I said that I believe that most in Washington were more concerned with their individual needs and perspectives than the health of the body as a whole. The obsession for re-election and power of their positions and moneyed lobbyists take more precedence than the needs of the people and the tenets of the nation they serve. The hubris with which many roll around in moral righteousness while engaging in the same exact behavior or worse that they are whining about and has become so common that we don’t even react to it any more, is a sure sign we are on the precipice disaster. Those cancerous voices who decry that those who don’t think the way they do are akin to evil and traitors are the antithesis of the freedoms our country promises every citizen.. I am appalled at how far its gone and yet I understand (to a certain extent) why this has happened. Life has been hard for many people, whether it is a pandemic, financial crises, unemployment, being disenfranchised or being treated like a second class citizen, or in many cases as if you weren’t human at all. It’s devastating to look down a future road with hopelessness in your heart. The easy way, however, is to listen to those voices of chaos who demand that we choose one camp or another, that there is only one way to move forward and its theirs and anyone else be damned. It is the lies those voices of chaos tell that are dismantling our hard fought freedoms. They sow discord and divisiveness and refuse to remember who we are and what we’ve fought for and refuse to engage in the often daunting challenge of actually talking to one another and negotiate terms. They refuse to embrace compromise that is an inevitable consequence of diversity.

The role of any good leader in continuing the work of freedom is to be a force for a republic that balances the needs of the many and with stalwart commitment amidst the cacophony of voices that demand the opposite in directing us into the future. A leader must listen and observe the multiple perspectives of the many even amidst the vitriolic atmosphere that they are presently mucking through. We cannot survive on the vilification of “difference” that has paralyzed the nation right now. I look to leaders who refuse to be pigeon holed into party over country. I refuse to listen to leaders who tell me I’m evil because I think the last president was the most destructive force to our country and democracy that we have EVER seen. I refuse to put my common sense aside and particular expertise on the many things I am particularity schooled in for some rabbit hole internet site that would state otherwise and then throw epithets my way to undermine my perspective.

As a citizen I recognize and accept that I have obligations that are necessary to sustain the freedoms of the many (kind of like the Body of Christ example I pontificate about). It is childish and morally repugnant to think otherwise. So those in leadership…model what a good citizen is, be accountable to the tenets of this great land, and work together and appeal to the citizenry’s higher angels that we do the same.Stop the hate, stop the childishness, stop the lies and start working for a better nation and world