Sunday, April 14, 2013
Where Have Our Great Leaders Gone?
Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth on this day in history in 1865, a mere 5 days after Confederate General Robert E Lee surrendered Southern forces at the Appomattox Court House in Richmond, Virginia, ending the United States Civil War.
On April 15, 1865 Lincoln succumbed to his wound and died early in the morning, and Secretary of State Edwin Stanton said, "Now he belongs to the ages."
Lincoln is one, if not the most beloved President and leader in the history of the United States. For many reasons I feel that his story is the most amazing and remarkable, so I look to the example of Abraham Lincoln as the model in which we look at our leadership in present day.
I feel that our leadership has fallen desperately short of any greatness in the past 40 years, and I'm not hesitant to say so. We seem to lack the ability to create greatness in men and women who are capable of leading us to the promised land that we all seek. Our leadership is dividing a country, and not uniting it as great leaders do. Great leadership starts with character and example, and then follows through with declarations and actions. Courage and confidence enable this to unite the country together and move forward to a common cause.
Still, I have seen very few examples on the world stage over the years that would dictate this. Surely there were great leaders in our history, yet there haven't been enough of them when it mattered most. The great leaders who did step up and took control were great in the moment, yet we seemed to have not continued their legacy, and it slowly died off waiting for the next "great" leader to resume control.
Charisma is something that oozes out of every great leader. You may not like their message or point of view, or agree with what they believe in, yet you cannot deny that they are great leaders. Great leaders inspire by getting ordinary people to do extraordinary things. They lift us up and give us hope and confidence, even if we don't always agree with what they are saying. We develop faith in what they say or do because they actually say what they do, and they DO what they say.
Yet, there seems to be a lack of leadership at our highest levels that can lead like this. Every election, I feel like I am voting for the lesser of 2 evils. I'm not sold on either leader, and I can't believe that my country has made it possible that it has not presented THE ABSOLUTE 2 or 3 BEST CANDIDATES we have to offer.
It is my guess that there are great leaders, but they are the CEO's of giant corporations, and making millions of dollars. The call to service, and the stresses and burdens it brings are not attractive enough to have them step up for the love of country. For whatever reason, while I feel that there should be an overload of great leaders, there is not. This is evident in the apathatic reaction to our leaders because we just don't seem to care enough in a united stance.
Still, I hopefully await the leaders that we will adore, and that we can refer to as a person who now "belongs to the ages."