Where Have All The Leaders Gone?
I’m not a political person, nor do I think it’s a brilliant idea to write anything remotely political on my company’s blog; however, these days it seems like it’s impossible not to be consumed by what’s happening in the political world.
But recently my attention has been steered less to poll numbers and Super Tuesday results and more towards the behavior of some of the candidates.
My whole life has been shaped by inspirational, upstanding people, and because of that, I created a non-profit org and a for-profit company solely built around role models:
People who exemplify the importance of kindness, building up others, and supporting, empathizing and showing compassion towards those in need. Essentially what we look to do is put aspiring figures in front of kids to show them the right path, model the “golden rule,” and embed actual people in their minds who they can strive to emulate as they grow up.
What’s been most infuriating to me is how some of the candidates have totally lost site of what the bigger picture role of a commander in chief really is. In my view, it’s equally about the face and character we present to the world as it is about that person’s plans and policies…and these days, maybe leaning more heavily towards the former.
I’m not naive to the fact that political campaigns get heated and contentious, and that American Presidents may give off the allusion of being better people than they actually are, but right now the world is seeing our potential next leaders acting like children. Really bratty, viscous, mean-spirited children.
What’s been most eye-opening is that Marco Rubio - a guy that coined himself the most benign candidate who would never unleash tasteless attacks for political gain - has been transformed during the process:
I believe this is a microcosm of what we’ll see more of around the country if this keeps up. People vibing off the mean-spirited energy they’re seeing our “leaders” exemplifying and thinking it’s ok to carry that into their everyday lives. Ruthless name calling, face to face character attacks and one-upping each other for cheap laughs. It’s starting to feel contagious, and my Facebook feed is flooded with it daily.
Jacq and I are in the thick of raising two toddlers - and the word ‘impressionable’ doesn’t even do them justice. They repeat and imitate everything they see us and their peers do. All I could think about while watching last night’s debate (and immediately turning it off with the mention of how Trump’s big hands equals… well, you know…) was the millions of equally impressionable older kids out there thinking that if the potential President of the United States can viciously mock and cut someone down on national TV, why can’t he/she do it at school, on the playground, or online?
What’s so sad about this is that educators around the country are now forced to implement anti-bullying programs into their curriculums, yet their work gets totally shot down when reputable figures are publicly applauded for modeling classic bullying behavior.
It feels like we’re in a pivotal time right now - not only with the endless issues around the world - but also building a nice, 'pay it forward’ culture where we strive to make each other better… and it should start from the top.
In the meantime, I’ll be hanging out on my “nice” soapbox, boycotting future debates, and driving around Brooklyn with my two new bumper stickers: