Thursday, December 22, 2011

Peaceful leadership

On the surface of peaceful leadership there are a few indicators that should be adhered to.  One such indicator is the will of the people to die in large numbers for change in leadership.  On a more peaceful level, the will of the people to protest in very large numbers for weeks is also an indicator that leaders need to take great awareness of.
We have to ask why the leaders strive to rewrite constitutions and understand the answer provided in as peaceful a way possible.  However, it is true that such efforts to retain power can be power grabs and nothing more.  The person doing the grabbing is blinded by their own self-importance.  On occasion that power grab is solidified when opposition becomes violent.  The violence only strengthens the case for stability in government leadership to remain in power.
Of all the peaceful protests that have resulted in a change of government, peaceful demonstrations have been the greatest weapon.  No leader can violently put down a peaceful demonstration and come out looking as though they did the right thing.  The element of citizen restraint to remain peaceful can be difficult.  Even more so when government incites the violence itself by planting forces in the crowds just to start the violence.
Peace is a difficult route.  Yet when you take examples from the most uncomplicated situations peace seems so easy.  Carolyn Handschin-Moser wrote in an article titled Dignity: Cornerstone of the Culture of Peace a perfect example.
Two women were out with their children one day.  Somehow the two boys started throwing rocks at each other in anger.  What would you think if both parents advised their kids to throw bigger rocks to solve the problem?  Shock and awe was the term used by some.  As simple as that example is, that is the exact manner in which most countries act.
With the above example, the world is witnessing some major political changes.  North Korea shares the top of that list with Russia.  How will the people and the government deal with the coming months?  In other places such as Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Yemen the transformation continues as well.
Right now in the DRC, the political leaders should begin their campaign for succession.  The current leaders should start to educate and prepare for the next election.  The preparation could involve open debates, strengthening the independent arms of government such as the electoral commission and depoliticize the court/law system and education system.  If the people are not educated and prepared we will see similar events during the next election as we witness now.
I know how simple my ideas seem to be.  However I have experienced the brutal difficulty in applying these simple ideas.  Peace, it takes a courageous heart to stand up and practice when faces with the largest rocks.

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