Forever forward, avoid disappointment, don’t idolise those in positions of power
By Natasja Beyleveld, Managing Director of Namibia Media Monitoring (NaMedia).
“What’s done is done. What’s gone is gone. One of life’s lessons is always moving on”. ― Roy Bennett.
Tempted to dwell on popular narratives, we risk not learning from the past and not living the future. Rephrased; the story of crisis (that’s ongoing in the pace of this world) easily overtakes the new surrounding opportunities.
On the contrary, the impact of crisis should become the leading agenda with a dire need to challenge norms, change convention, and to influence mindsets that keep on ‘blasting us from the past,’
It’s tiresome to have the circular agenda that perhaps portray various ongoing perspectives (debate) but it is equally amazing how frequently this leads to breakthrough and change. Instigating for change, should best-cast-scenario lead to mobilizing, and implementing the change needed?
Corruption leading our political agenda in terms of crime, budgetary deficit and weakened economic performance, in turn leads the investor agenda, and increased incidences of hate/violent crime scenes lead to a larger public disconnect, and citizen distrust or dissatisfaction.
Looking at a democracy similar to the way you would at a modern household, it’s obvious that power-dynamics have changed substantially. Access to information, advocacy for human rights & diversity, freedom of speech, digital segmentation of the mainstream media agenda (via blogs, forums, social media) – have either polluted or distracted us from the responsibility to (all) others. Having the ability to differ in opinion and values should not encourage us to become intolerable or unwilling to negotiate for the benefit of the ‘bigger good’. That would encourage ‘tolerated bullyism’.
So in the struggle for power due to insecurity, vulnerability, pride, inheritance, entitlement, tribalism, you name it – are we snuggling to warm each other, or to warm ourselves? If not having been confronted with really tough challenges, some self-doubt, and the realization that you are only as strong as those that you surround yourself with – perhaps the veil of ignorance still needs to be lifted, or we’re cautioned to move out of the cave (Plato analogy).
Forward means you’ll likely trip and fall, or drive into a hole, or unknowingly fall off a cliff. It ain’t going to be sexy. It also means that you won’t procrastinate in fear, rather than taking up courage to do what you need to do in the face of fear. There is no pretty picture for this, other than your own, so own it.
Don’t idolize leaders, otherwise you’ll be disappointed soon. Don’t put yourself on a pedestal, else you might find yourself alone soon. A leader only unlocks the best potential in those around them. If we take ownership of our shared responsibility to love others (the same way you love yourself), you’re moving to the platform for negotiation, collaboration, trust, tolerance (towards appreciation), and values that want to be shared and do not have to be enforced.
Short version available from Abraham Lincoln; “Whatever you are, be a Good one”.