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Isn't it pretty?

Friday, February 20, 2004

Cynicism and Politics

I was told last night that I am cynical. That surprised me. And upset me, to be honest. This statement was based on comments I made about the politicians in America and how I don't like the values that most of our political leaders seem to embody. We left the conversation with me stating that I think that, unfortunately, power corrupts. But the question left hanging was, if power makes a leader corrupt, can you be a leader without power? And is there any way for power to not corrupt a leader? My feelings about leadership are that a true leader doesn't need power, they just naturally lead. But then the question is, who are you leading if you don't have any power? And there is gets murky, because you are stuck in the same circle, going around in circles about the influences of leadership and power on one another. I believe the key is in humility. Moshe was possibly the greatest leader ever. The quality that most characterized him was humility. Humility, the act of knowing and being able to use the assets that you have, but always keeping in mind that those assets are a gift. Unfortunately, I don't think that most of the public leaders today, especially in the political arena, have much humility. I feel like the incredible majority of politicians today go into politics not because they want the best for their constituents, but because they want power. Unfortunately, I feel like those people who go into public service for the purpose of serving the public don't end up faring well, probably because they are eaten up by the power hungry people who tend to lead our political realm today. Whew! For someone not interested in politics, that was a lot said! As for my cynicism, there might be some truth in that I am cynical towards the motivation behind the leaders in the public eye today. And unfortunately, I think I have started having some doubts about the motivations behind a lot of the people I meet these days. But I hope that I, and I think I do, still hold on to the belief that people are innately good and care about others and do the right thing out of love rather than fear. I know that I am still surprised when I find out about the horrible things that one person will do to another. I know I am still stunned by the stories I hear. I know I am still shocked when someone hurts another and doesn't seem to feel remorse. And in that way, I feel like I am clinging to my idealism. I hope I don't ever get to the point where I am not surprised or hurt to find out that one person would hurt another.


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