In my last posting, I posed the question “why do you want to Lead With Honor?” To continue this series, I’d like to persuade you that we MUST Lead With Honor if we want to maintain our quality of life. This sounds like a pretty drastic statement, but to move the world in a positive direction requires that we believe, without a doubt, that this is true. Why?? When attempting to bring about change of any sort, if there is no urgent need for action the attempt at change fails. In this case, if change fails the world will eventually devolve into a level of chaos that will likely be deeper and longer lasting than the last era known as the Dark Ages.
You’re probably asking yourself if you should keep reading or if I’m some sort of fanatic. I like to think that I’m a pragmatic optimist. So… please keep reading. I am not trying to be a Doom and Gloom naysayer. But… think it will be worth your while to hear me out. Here are my reasons for believing that we must change or face a bleak future.
- Information Technology has accelerated the impact that our actions bring about. Consider that 2,000 years ago a war took months or years to start. Troops had to be mustered, supplies had to be collected and letters sent by courier between kings as negotiations took place. Today, a single push of a button could instantly change the future of our planet.
- The proliferation of nuclear and biological weapons. Have you heard of the Doomsday Clock? The clock measures how close we are to nuclear war, based on global economic and political conditions. This clock is not maintained by a group of wackos, but the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago. When the clock hits midnight, we will be looking at the third use of nuclear weapons in a war. Here is a graphic representation of where the clock stands today.
- We live on a planet with limited resources. Check out The Story of Stuff to see why our way of life of unbridled consumerism is not sustainable. In the past, the population of the earth was insignificant compared to the amount of resources we consumed. Check out the projections for the World’s Population. If we don’t change the way we live, we ARE going to run out of stuff. Then what?
- The increase in religious intolerance. I believe that freedom of religion should be a fundamental right of every man, woman, and child. I happen to be a Christian and am thankful for the freedom I have to believe what I want. I am also smart enough to understand that I do not know it all. That for me to claim to have sole knowledge of God and his plans is heresy. Having said that, there are many people of all religions and faiths that believe they have THE answer. In theory, this is acceptable, until one group tries to impose its beliefs on another. The result? Conflict. War. Suffering.
I understand that this is a very personal matter. That parents fear their children will stray from what they (the parents) believe, possibly risking a loss of eternal life. This can be a very strong motivator for trying to limit the freedom of other religions in spreading their doctrine in your neighborhood. However, there is also another problem. Should every religion be accepted? I would argue no. I cannot believe that God would call for the persecution of women, children or others because they are different. A good example would be the Mayan practice of human sacrifice. Is human sacrifice ok? I don’t think so!
We now have a problem. Which religions are ok, and, how can we all get along in a very diverse world? With the increase in rhetoric from Christians, Jews and Muslims, we are heading for a storm of significant proportions. To give this statistical credence, check out the 2008 Hate Crime Survey performed by Human Rights First. Because of the increase in biological and nuclear weapons, if we are going to survive, we are going to have to become more tolerant of other beliefs.
- The increase in corporate scandals that is increasing the gap between the rich and the poor. Especially in America. For more information, check out the statistics on World Poverty. While poverty always has, and always will be with us, what concerns me is that Leading Without Honor increases this gap to the point it becomes unbearable. What happens then? Revolution. It is the burden of the rich to ensure that the middle and lower income classes have enough to sustain themselves with a quality of living that is acceptable. Refuse to accept this responsibility, and chaos will eventually increase.
- The growing ineffectiveness of the US Government. We need government. That is a given. However the problem has always been how much power should the government have, and what is the appropriate balance of federal, state, local and personal government. Politics are, well, politics. This is understandable. However, the system has now broken down significantly. An example, the recent voting on the finanical recovery plans passed by both the House and the Senate this past week. While many of the criticisms have been focused on the lack of Republican buy-in, something just as ominous has been overlooked. The fact that not one Democrat voted against the plan. You can’t tell me that every Democrat was in favor of these packages. No – there was a lot of arm twisting by Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party to ensure that no one broke rank. This kind of voting and government is not looking out for the best interest of the people.
Ok – I could go on and on but I’ll stop here which brings me to the point of this posting. All is not lost – if we all learn to – LEAD WITH HONOR! This includes politicians, business leaders, fathers, mothers, religious leaders, teachers, fireman, policeman, government workers, union workers… the list is endless. A new focus on leading with honor needs to be emphasized to create a world where all are valued. Is this not the point of our existence?To learn to love one another. To be responsible. To help our fellow man.
There is plenty of evidence that man has the capability to do these things. People like Mother Teresa, Mahatma Ghandi, Confucious, Christ, Mohammed, Buddha, Desmond Tutu, Dalai Lama, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and countless other religious and political leaders have shown us that we can overcome our differences and be more accepting of each other. We have business leaders who lead with honor and create places of work where people are valued and meaningful work gets done. We have doctors and health care professionals who donate time and money to help the poor and needy. There are people like you and me who volunteer in organizations that protect or help others. We build houses, dontate food and equipment to others less fortunate than ourselves. There is hope. However – we MUST begin to LEAD WITH HONOR if we are to make the world a safer, better place to live for all.
All the best,
All the time,