May 20th, 2011
Manual for Leaders
Since the so-called Arab-Spring revolution which took place in Tunisia and Egypt had greatly changed our view about the power of the underestimated civil society, we, the Lissan team, couldn’t escape the influence of this special political and social new era in north Africa and the Middle East. Though Lissan is usually entitled to topics that do not arouse temporary emotional reactions, we found the recent land-sliding events too tempting to ignore.
So we have decided to take a subtle measure by contributing our view. For we are no specialists on political issues, we spare our limited knowledge the stress of writing in analytic manner. Instead, we simply behave the way we really are: as part of the vast civil society
We are sure, just like us, most of the leaders who are now facing the anger of their people were once part of the vast civil society. Something must have gone terribly wrong; something that snatched these leaders off the reality to which they once belonged. If one was once like the millions, one should be aware of the uniqueness and the importance of one’s position when one becomes the leader of all those millions. Let’s put that down in a simple example suitable for us non-politicians; If a certain country has a population of 80.000.000 and if you happen to be the lucky one to have once-in-a-life opportunity to lead them…. Isn’t it like winning a lottery with a ratio of 1 to 80.000.000? Wouldn’t genuinely serving all these millions be the greatest award one could get for being that lucky?
Without any hesitation, our answer to the above question is a very big “yes!“. But there is something absurd and confusing about being in power that we as standard civil population wouldn’t and couldn’t understand. It might be an infectious disease that leaders get stricken with as soon as they drive passing through a palace gate and start living in the huge compound surrounded by heavily ornamented furniture. The longer they get accustomed to those things the more they become detached from the millions whom they were entitled to lead and serve. As amateurs in political issues, we can only tend to the conclusion that palaces are indeed woven with infectious deceases and should be avoided by all those who are not strong enough to ignore diverting luxuries and personal benefits….. or would be leaders with the deficiency of self discipline shouldn’t be allowed to drive through gates of infectious palace compounds.
How delicious is power? Is it addictive like drug? If being in power is addictive like drug, how come those in power are not interested in sharing? What we for sure know is that one cannot enjoy addictive things without sharing it with others. That is maybe why we enjoy having beer or a cocktail in a pub than alone at home. So how could power be enjoyable if not shared?
Probably, these kind of questions could only be answered by those who were chosen to be leaders; specially those leaders who became more busy in staying glued to their power instead of sticking to their duty; serving the millions.
May be it is already too late and helpless to deliver a manual for those leaders who have already succeeded in making their people extremely angry and fearlessly march for freedom. But if you are a would be leader of a certain country, it is like as if you were already on the tip of a highest mountain. You can’t climb further if you have already reached the highest point of your route. You either do the right thing to remain up there as long as you are needed and step down or you will find your self tumbling and rolling downwards faster than you have ever predicted. As Jimmy Cliff precisely defined in his song, the higher you rise the harder is the fall.