Public Service and Leadership

Sometimes it is a struggle to consider or see another person’s viewpoint. Especially if we are passionate about our own beliefs concerning how a particular thing should be accomplished or what decision should be made. It is beyond obvious at this point that politics within the United States has caused major polarization among many citizen who more than likely have more in common than otherwise.

Time will tell, but I am interested to see if the leadership of this country will continue to divide its people or begin to unite them. There are pushes toward both routes, yet I remain unconvinced at this point that something truly sustainable in one direction or the other has developed at this point. However, there are some working toward a drastic change in the leadership of the U.S. and the excerpt below is intriguing to consider in this scenario since it was written thousands of years ago. Consider this:

“And will our pupils, when they here this, refuse to take their turn at the toil of the State, when they are allowed to spend the greater part of their time with one another in the heavenly light?

Impossible, he answered; for they are just men, and the commands which we impose upon them are just; there can be no doubt that every one of them will take office as a stern necessity, and not after the fashion of our present rulers of State.

Yes, my friend, I said; and there lies the point. You must contrive for your future rulers another and a better life than that of a ruler, and then you may have a well-ordered State; for only in the State which offers this, will they rule who are truly rich, not in silver and gold, but in virtue and wisdom, which are the true blessings of life. Whereas if they go to the administration of public affairs, poor and hungering after their own private advantage, thinking that hence they are to snatch the chief good, order there can never be; for they will be fighting about office, and the civil and domestic broils which thus arise will be at the ruin of the rulers themselves and of the whole State.”
~ Plato, The Republic

I believe this provides great insight into the current polarization and gives some foundation to what leadership should be about, especially within the political realm. There seems to be a lack of true leadership at some of the highest levels in the country, but I have wondered if this symptom has been caused by deeper shifts in how we now function in our current society or if this is somehow a more isolated occurrence in the last several years. Questionable and self-serving motives appear to be on the rise, however I could be wrong about that.

How about you? What are your thoughts on public service and leadership? Comment below about the quote and/or your thoughts on the matter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *