The leadership factor matters!!!
My heart is heavy this evening, so I’m going to try to express some of that weight in this post.
I live in the state of NC. The voter turnout was very light today…lighter by far than what was expected. For people looking from the outside in, it could seem that people of this state are either just too slack, lazy, apathetic or complacent to take part in the voting process. Things aren’t exactly as they seem to be.
The environment that exists in this state right now is unusual to say the least. We’ve been divided 50/50 right down the middle since the 2008 elections. It has pitted friend against friend, coworker against coworker, family member against family member.
Politics isn’t an issue that North Carolinians in general are complacent about. So why was the voter turnout so low? I can only give you my impression…one person’s opinion. Take it for what it is worth.
My impression is that the general population of this state, African Americans included, have become wary, watchful of things that are divisive. They don’t like being pitted against people they like and even love simply because of politics. They don’t like being manipulated, not even for the sake of a “greater good”. They don’t like walking on eggshells all the time, having to be consciously aware at all times of what they say to whom and when they say it. They are weary of the divisiveness, to an extreme.
Could I be wrong in my interpretation of what I am seeing in the actions of other people? Sure I could be. But suppose for just a moment that I’m not wrong. Suppose that what the people of this state and perhaps even this country would rather see is someone who encourages the citizens of this country, regardless of financial class or political orientation, race or religion, to unite together in getting the things done that need to be done. Suppose that in the deepest part of their hearts and minds there lies the desire for a leader who will step up in this country and unite the people, regardless of their differences, in a positive way.
Suppose they want someone who will lead by example…someone who is isn’t afraid to take the initative. Someone who displays determination and perseverance in their actions. Someone who can be genuinely honest, straightforward and direct. Someone who comprehends the meaning of prudence and knowing how to make what will be a wise choice in the long run. Not an expedient choice. Not a choice that will benefit their own political career. Not a choice that fits into any predetermined ideology. But a choice that will inspire the people of this country, who are the heart and backbone of this nation, to use every ounce of creativity and ingenuity they might possess and every sliver of determination, perseverance, initiative and courage that exists within them so that we the people of this country and generations yet to come can move forward in a positive direction that will benefit this nation in the long run.
This is a simplistic analogy, but it is the best that I can do at this point. People can have differences of mindset when it comes to approaching the issue of authority. I’ve known people who staunchly believe that being in authority is all about “being the boss, being in control, keeping things under control, teaching people their place, keeping people in their place, demanding respect and asserting their authority”. They act this way all the time, without having any conscious awareness at all of how those under their authority could be influenced by the kind of lead that is being provided for them. They can go too far on trying to “be the boss” and end up generating a force of oppression in the process.
I’ve also known people who understand that there is more to being in authority that simply “being the boss”. They understand how the example that is being set in their own attitude and actions can have a direct influence on the attitude and actions of those under their authority, and they want to set a truly positive example…one that is positive, encouraging and inspiring…one that motivates people to put the strengths, talents and abilities that each individual has to good use in the situation.
No one actually talks about it, but this is what I sense in the people around me in this state is a yearning and desire for someone who leads by example. A yearning and desire to be inspired beyond what they may have known in the past.
This kind of leadership doesn’t exist in the state of NC at the present time. There is no source of inspiration…only divisiveness. It isn’t a reality we like, but it is a reality we live with all the same. So at what point do we decide that we aren’t going to feed into that divisiveness any more? Where do we draw those lines, as individuals? How do we draw those lines for ourselves?
I think maybe the people of this state just did.