Tuesday, July 12, 2016

We Must Become the Leaders we Seek

This problem of discord among peoples in America is not impossible to fix. You can fix it with me and quickly!
by Charlie leck

A reading of this morning’s newspapers awakened me and helped me to find an answer to the very vital questions with which we have struggled this past week. Let me point you to the Washington Post, which provides this very important answer to the most asked question of the last week: “ In our moment of division, who will lead?” I’m telling you, the Post has the most poignant, intriguing and very practical answer to the question: “…it would be nice if politicians did not immediately fall into partisan ruts, or post Facebook banalities.” Then Michael Gerson, in his brilliant column, which I urge you to read, presents us with the only solution that might possibly work…

Even if we cannot, as individuals, hope to change systemic racism, most of us have the ability to defy our times and reach out across lines of race and religion. And religious people have a particular calling in this area. A pastor friend who runs a retreat center in rural Virginia found an abandoned slave cemetery on the property. His religious community reached out to African American leaders and together they rededicated the cemetery, asking for forgiveness and praying for healing. None who participated came away unchanged.
In this example, Gerson is telling us something very important. Hear what he says: “While waiting for leaders, perhaps the most practical and hopeful path is to become them."

Read it slowly. Let it sink in! Then, let it consume you! Help your neighbors to understand! Talk about it with your friends! Make it a topic at your church or synagogue. Find ways to convince nearly everyone you know that this IS the answer.

We can NOT wait for leadership any longer. We (you and I) must be the leaders we seek. There is no one else! So, we cannot fail! We must speak of neighborliness – and equality – and undiscriminating love. Somehow, the people of America must do what constitutional amendment, congressional legislation and community organization cannot do. We must change the culture of this issue – of this argument – of this social catastrophe!

Go and speak of love and caring. Make it undiscriminating! Love and care for all people in all ways and at all times.

Change the direction of these frightening times. Love will conquer fear. Friendship will heal the deep wounds our country now displays.

A new president will not change things. New laws will do no good! Stronger, better trained police departments will not help. Education practices will not really change without the support and help of people who care and love and want equality for all.

We must prove that black lives matter and so do white lives, brown lives, yellow lives and red lives. And what matters most is that we trust each other. Such trust will never come about until we, the people, really begin to trust one another and care for one another and love one another.

We – you and I – must start saying no to hatred. We must banish this fear of one another. We must build sincere friendship with people who are different than we. We must! We must bring other people into our circles of caring and friendship. How many black friends do you have? How many Muslim people have you associated with and made into friends. How many Native Americans do you know?

You see! Our circles are too tight! There is no hope for America when we do this!
Don’t call me a child or a fool! Don’t tell me it could never happen. Say yes to possibilities! Say yes to hope.

You want to know how we shall end this nightmare in America? I’m telling you: We must stop waiting for someone else to do something about it. We must stop it now.

We are the leaders we have been hoping for! I swear to God it is true!


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1 comment:

  1. I tend to be a pragmatist which leads me to believe that there is no practical substitute for a real leader. I would agree that living a better life is an option worth the efort while we await the arrival of such a person. He or she is certainly not on the horizon right now.