Women in Leadership

Our Collective Consciousness and True Leadership by Gita Saraydarian

Gita Saraydarian asked:

This is a quote from one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most profound speeches. Martin Luther King Jr. stands out as a person who truly connected to the Divine in himself. When he said, “I’ve been to the mountain top…” he is telling us that he is a man who has had a true spiritual experience. He also connected to the most sublime principles of life. He spoke out against injustice and cruelty. He set a high standard for leaders, especially religious leaders when he wrote “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and advocated the necessity to speak out against injustice. He focused all humanity by speaking to our collective consciousness. If we understand what is human freedom and evoke it and work for it, then it will come.

We honor this great person, his work, and his memory by consciously working to express his principles. When we speak out against injustice and tyranny, we help all of humanity. When we adhere to higher principles, we help every person regardless of where they live and what they do. It is the moral duty and responsibility of every awakened person to lend his or her voice to right human relations all over this world. We cannot leave the airwaves to the pundits and hateful people of all stripes who spew out lies and distortions. There are plenty of radio talk shows and blogs dedicated precisely to promote hatred, separatism, lies and distortions. Millions of people from all over the world listen and read these distortions.

M. L. King advocated that we view and judge people from the perspective of their accomplishments rather than the color of their skin or their socio economic or educational backgrounds. Everywhere in the world we see the tribal mentality vigorously using violence to reach its goals. We also have violence in the US, the violence of the hateful messages and the violence of the lies and distortions. As the United States moves closer to electing the new President, the idea of race and gender and religion keeps creeping into the national dialogue.

We need to stop seeing the candidates as the first black candidate or the first woman candidate or the first Evangelical Christian candidate or the first Mormon candidate and then using these labels to put each person into neat boxes and then start predicting behaviour according to the categories that we have created. I am opposed to Hilary Clinton trying to act more female, or Barak Obama more Black, or Mit Romney to defend his faith. What a waste of time for these people to spend time and energy focusing on something that should not matter and what a waste of energy for people to try to categorize candidates in this fashion. How often we hear on the news how female voters behave; how African American voters behave; how Hispanics vote; how Evangelicals vote and so on. It seems that we are forced by the media to think on what divides us rather than on what unites us.

Do we have to talk about the first female candidate? Many nations across the world have had female leaders in top positions. So, big deal! Do we have to talk about the first African American candidate when most the world has had leaders of varying colors and ages and experiences? What about the first Mormon candidate? Mormon men and women have held office and been in leadership positions for a long time. So why make such a big deal out of these? Why use the gender, color, or religion to judge a person? Why not start to judge a person based on their merit and accomplishments and suitability for a job based on their merit?

Is that possible? Is it terribly naïve?

On the one hand, yes, it is a bit naïve on my part to think that pundits, newsmakers, reporters, campaign managers, political bloggers, radio talk show hosts and other nasty and divisive people would really look at the human qualities rather than gender and race!

On the other hand yes, I think it is possible only because I know many people who do not care about the gender or the color or the religion of the candidate. I don’t care about the gender or the color or religion and there are many others just like me! What we want to see are the qualities of leadership and true commitment to ideals of leadership that matter most to us.

The media hints that perhaps people in New Hampshire voted for Hillary Clinton because they did not want to vote for Obama for race reasons! Somehow, the pundits “know” that this could have happened! They must be psychic! Or they voted for Hillary precisely because she seems to “break down” and get emotional right there on national television. Now Hillary is getting “very personal” about what she says in public. After all, the Presidency is a “very personal” issue. So, if a person sees things from a “personal” perspective, a “moral” perspective, or whatever perspective is fashionable, then they are more real? Why is the Presidency a very personal issue? Why are we waiting breathlessly for one of the candidates to trip so we can trip them further? People’s lives are at stake; the future of this country is at stake; our reputation and responsibility in the world is at stake. The Presidency of the Untied States is not a personal issue; it has nothing to do with personalities. It is one of the biggest leadership and responsibility positions in the entire world.

How does the media know why people vote for a person rather than another? How do they know that and why would they advocate such “facts” if they do not know for sure? The media does not know; it is simply looking for ways to bring viewers and sell products. They will say anything to create conflict and get attention. Do we believe what the media reports? Should we immediately change our minds if we see a candidate cry, scream, blame others and play the victim, or play the gender or race card? Why should we care about all these dramatics? Could it be because the media tells us we need to care and the campaign managers tell their candidates how they should act, speak, look, smile, and gesture so they are likeable? And, could it be that we allow the media and the pundits and the campaign managers to manipulate us because we are not being conscious?

I personally am sick of the race card or the gender card or the religion card that is played out every time someone is running for office, gets voted to a prominent position, or somehow brings attention to himself or herself. Is every woman concerned only with female related issues? Is every African-American concerned only with race relations and topics that are particularly race oriented? Is every Mormon concerned only with the Mormon Church? Is every Evangelical Christian concerned only with their faith? I don’t think so. People are interested in all kinds of things, irrespective of their gender and race and religion. We need to allow candidates to talk about issues and not waste time on canned responses, staged theatrics, or silly nonsense that have only low level entertainment value at best.

Candidates and elected officials of any country in the world reflect exactly where a nation is in its consciousness. We vote for these people or we do not vote for them. We will have better leaders when we have a consciousness that is able to discern the real from the unreal. Our consciousness and our demand for true leadership will evoke a true leader to run for office. Our demands will nurture real persons to step up and dedicate their lives and fortunes for the betterment of others. When we demand real answers, candidates may just oblige us. When we know how to vote and then take the trouble to vote for those with the best credentials, our leadership positions will not be up for sale to the loudest or the most obnoxious or to the biggest millionaire.

Our demands will receive a response. But if we continue to demand rotten leaders, separative leaders who will advocate our own agendas, power hungry
and money hungry leaders who are basically interested in their own enrichments and power, then that is exactly what we will get. Thei
r very sophisticated machinery will have us believe whatever they want us to believe if we buy into their games. The pundits and political prophets will have the right data if we oblige them by following the statistics that they have cleverly worked out. They will predict outcomes if we behave in predictable and automatic and unconscious ways.

There is an alternative: We can forget the gender, forget the color, forget age, forget hairstyle, forget color and fit of clothes or expensive haircuts, forget their fortune or their fundraising abilities, forget it all. Look at their inner worth, their commitment, their leadership ability, and their ability to bring a fresh look at politics. Look at their integrity, listen to their speeches and see how much is canned and how much can be genuine. Listen to how they react to other candidates, their nobility and their maturity. Do they bring attention to themselves by playing the blame game? What games are they playing and how do they play it? If we look at the overall behavior of a candidate, there is plenty of material to give us a hint about the real person.

Good people do run for office, there are plenty of good men and women, black and white and every color and religion, who are fit for office and we can elect them. In order to put them on the ballot, we have to vote for them so that their voices are heard.

So as America gets ready to vote for the next President, our collective invocation for true leadership will eventually bear results. It may not be a result of this election; it may take another 50 or 100 years for a true leader to step up and get elected. As a national body, if we can invoke true leaders, the right leaders will slowly be supported and elected and slowly the patters of political life will also change. We need determination and patience; every generation has the social responsibility to act consciously.

Let us all get out there and vote! Vote for the person you feel will do the best job as our leader. Most of all make an informed and conscious choice and not one that is imposed on you by the media and pundits.

We hope that all peoples all over the world have the opportunity to elect their leaders and are able to have the leaders that they indeed vote for. We hope that humanity is able to evoke the spirit of leadership in able men and women and inspire them to serve. We hope that human consciousness brings a new level of awareness and integrity. Everywhere in the world human beings desire and yearn for freedom and life. Martin Luther King Jr. was a huge advocate of this human freedom and decency. Eventually, his dream will indeed come true. I have faith, because I do believe in the beauty of the human soul to want this freedom and this truth.

Thank you,


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