Lamplight

The best leaders care about everyone

I don’t think I have written about politics on this site. It’s just a minefield, you know, because people seem to either have strong feelings about political issues or they don’t pay any attention.

I am not going to try and sway anyone to vote for someone other than in your own party, if you have a party, though I think parties are generally only fun if there’s a game of Scrabble involved. This is the United States of America, and if you’re a citizen of legal voting age, you can vote for whoever you want to vote for.

But.

[sighs]

There’s too much hate.

We are not a country founded on hate. We are a country founded on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No hate. Sadly, as history has taught us, from the very beginning minorities and women were not given equal measure of that. Certainly not liberty, and quite often not the pursuit of happiness. However, while the United States failed to honor that founding premise immediately for all people, we are inching toward that as a goal. Sometimes in leaps and bounds, sometimes at a snail’s pace.

Birds image courtesy of Antranias/ Pixabay.com
Birds image courtesy of Antranias/ Pixabay.com

Leaders are meant to get us moving forward toward a goal, not to push us away from it. A leader should inspire followers out of some positive emotion, not negativity. Not hate. Not fear. Not by emphasizing the us versus them.

Us vs them is an illusion. Us vs them is a concept that promotes hate, war, exclusion, inhumanity, at the cost of global life.

Does this mean that when a dangerous regime rises up that we should ignore it, laugh it off, and let things continue down a dark road? Of course not. If your brother is seriously messing up, setting little fires in the garage, you don’t need to slap his face. You don’t need to throw him out. You don’t need to build a wall so that you can just be separate from him while he’s setting his little fires on the other side.

No, you can remember that he’s your brother. He’s another living thing on this planet. He was once a baby, helpless and innocent, and if he’s lucky, he’ll be an old man. So you remember in those moments that you care about him.

You still have to stop what needs to be stopped. It’s why violent criminals need consequences for their crimes. Do they stop being humans when we send them away?

A good leader cares about everyone. A good leader finds the compassion within that is necessary to treat all life with respect. There will still be a bias. A leader is likely to care the most about her or his immediate followers. That’s alright. That’s normal. We protect our loved ones first, our families and friends, and then go from there. Everyone does that. However, we can still care about those that aren’t our immediate families, those that aren’t our close friends.

A good leader has the eyes to see the good within everyone, even if it takes a lot of searching.

In politics today, when I look at those getting the most media attention, I see so little of this kind of leadership. I see leaders who want power, who think leadership means putting up walls. I see leaders who are so disconnected from those they would have follow them, despite saying that they are in the race for those followers. The ones who are exceptions seem to get far less media attention.

Thankfully, the candidate that I am truly rooting for has begun to get more media attention, though it still doesn’t seem like enough. This is a person that I feel genuinely cares about everyone. He won’t agree with everything you say, and you might not agree with everything he says, but he sees you have value as a living thing on this planet. I really feel that comes through in his words. He comes across as being genuine. He is the one who stops a speech to see if he can help someone who has fainted. He is the person who rushes forward to help a reporter who was nearly trampled. He is the one who stepped back and let others take the microphone to have their say, rather than have them escorted out.

He is the one who can stand by his record, let his integrity speak for himself, and who shows a compassion that cannot be faked. The others, and here I’ll stress that it’s my personal opinion that I’m expressing here, seem to wear masks.

Clearly you know who I am talking about, whether or not you agree with me. I am not asking you to vote for him. Like I said, I understand you’re likely going to vote for someone in whatever party you tend to vote for. All I am asking in this post is for you to ask yourself if you truly believe, in the deepest core of who you are, if the candidate you have in mind truly is a person that cares about everyone.

If the answer is no, is that really who you want as a leader? Because to me, that’s really not a leader at all.

J. Parrish Lewis was born and raised in Maryland. In his youth there, he and his brother had many adventures in the dogwood forests near his home. His nostalgia for these adventures has strongly influenced his characters, their relationships, and their perspective on the world they inhabit. He moved to California’s coast to earn his degree in communications and now lives with his family in the San Joaquin Valley. Lewis is profoundly deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. He enjoys hazelnut coffee, captioned movies, and walking his dog.

4 Comments

Comments are awesome. I approve positive comments, even if you disagree with me. I don't approve comments that are negative, even if you're agreeing with me.