We did it ourselves
One of my favourite classical reads is the Tao Te Ching. It holds a verse which has haunted me for years in the greatest way.
The supreme rulers are hardly known by their subjects.
The lesser are loved and praised.
The even lesser are feared.
The least are despised.
Those who show no trust will not be trusted.
Those who are quiet value the words.
When their task is completed, people will say:
We did it ourselves.
We are witnessing two very different types of global leadership at the moment. Yes, after Friday’s transition we might fear, or even despise the new leadership in place in one of the most powerful countries on Earth. However, we do have the option to support the other leaders emerging alongside; the ones leading the movement that proved we, in fact, can do it ourselves. We can choose who we support, we can choose to mobilise, we can use our collective voice to speak the enduring truth, and we can take action in our communities each and every day. We have the option to support something else.
A wise friend of mine recently told me, “Great leaders do make people believe they've accomplished something themselves, rather than believing something was done to or for them. Nelson Mandela was like this, as was Martin Luther King and the Kennedys, along with leaders of the feminist movement, and even Obama in many ways. They weren't perfect, but they inspired others with a vision and a dream that caused people to take action, to do something meaningful.”
If we focus on those enduring truths - justice, peace, love and understanding - we will lead, and we will do it ourselves.