Dr. Mario Barrett, Ph.D. asked:
Global warming, poverty and starvation, and hostility among nations are some of the major problems that still remain in today’s world. These problems directly impact the quality of life of millions of people around the world as it relates to macro level issues (such as the depletion of wildlife, natural resources, and the perceived instability of national economies), and micro level issues (such as the reduced sense of personal vitality, happiness, and well-being). Nevertheless, these problems remain as humanity struggles, stumbles, and fails in its attempts to address each of these concerns. This leads to a fundamental question regarding this topic-Does humanity have the ability to successfully address these problems so that they no longer plague our lives? If so, through what means?
The Possibilities For Society
Throughout this series: Leadership Development is Essential, we have explored leadership’s potential impact on the individual, the family, the community, and the organization. Now it is time to explore leadership’s potential impact in the context of collectively addressing the problems of the world that are degrading the human condition. This is not to say that the world we live in is a horrible place. But, most of us can agree that it is no utopia either. Therefore, in an attempt to create a world that successfully addresses its problems head on, humanity must call upon itself to lead the charge for its own betterment, and not rely solely on a specific group of individuals to lead us. As it relates to the problems previously discussed, it is our collective voice that gives rise to our leaders taking the appropriate actions to addressing issues such as these.
Facilitated by leadership, scientists and politicians around the world can put aside egos, self-interest, and posturing to understand and address the causes and create solutions for global warming. Fostered by leadership, business leaders, doctors, and politicians can assess the underlying issues that create poverty and starvation around the world and come up with viable solutions to fix this problem. Finally, hostility among nations continues to give rise to unnecessary wars, however, through the utilization of leadership it too can be addressed through collaborative brainstorming and dialogue by national and military leaders. All of these world issues can be solved if humanity uses its collective voice to force its leaders to listen and take appropriate action(s). In this context, leadership does not rest on the shoulders of a chosen few, but rather on that of the collective many.
The Influence of Humanity’s Collective Voice
While I identified a specific group of individuals (leaders) that have direct influence on each of these issues, I would like to reemphasize that every human being has a voice as it relates to issues that impacts his/her life. Collectively speaking, we give power to our leaders, and it is our collective voice that has always driven societal change, whether beneficial or detrimental. The French Revolution, the rise against England’s Catholic church that spurred the Puritans journey to America, the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, the end of apartheid in South Africa, the fight for the right of women and blacks to vote in America have all resulted in beneficial gains for the masses. On the other hand, the Holocaust, the Crusades, and slavery have all had a detrimental affect on humanity and still leaves scars today. But make no mistake about it, in each case (whether the result was beneficial or detrimental), humanity’s collective voice had a significant influence on the actions taken by leader(s) of the time.
For The Betterment of Society
Throughout history, humanity has utilized its collective voice to give rise to those individuals we now honor as great leaders or heroes. They are the ones that we often credit for being the face of the movement and leading the charge for the betterment of society. However, we are the wind beneath their wings, as they help society move toward that state of utopia that we may never actually achieve. Nevertheless, it’s a vision worth undertaking. What else is there for humanity to do, but to keep pushing for society’s betterment for all who yearn to partake in the harmony and happiness that life can provide?
However, we all must remember that harmony and happiness is not a given. We have to put in the effort to create and maintain the conditions that we want for the world we live in. This is why our collective voice is so important to the leadership (creation and maintenance) of this world. If humanity wants to work towards a vision of harmony and happiness, it can never forget to utilize its collective voice to force its leaders to take the appropriate steps toward this goal.