The why is every bit as important as the what. Maybe more so. Leaders are able to make sense of facts in the larger context in which the facts exist. If they fail to do this, they fail to lead.
My little corner of the world is not the whole world. Although my life is 100-percent of my experience, my life is not the only life, no matter how much I feel like it is.
The way I see events is not the only way to view them. My perspective is not the whole picture. If I’m ever to see the bigger picture I must see it from other points of view. I cannot grasp the entirety of the world from my favorite easy-chair, or in the echo chamber of my closest friends.
To ask a leader to solve my problems without regard for the impact that solution will have on others is folly and myopic, not to mention egocentric. But that’s what we seem to want. Fix my problems for me, and screw the rest of you.
Politics has come down to fragmenting the system into ideological niches from which politicians accumulate enough shards to win an election. Screw the rest of you. That’s not leading. This madness must stop now.
There is a larger why in which my what lives.
I have learned that to find my life, I must lose my life for the sake of something larger than myself.
While I am a teeny-tiny part of a larger whole, what I do affects the whole. I act, and I affect those whom I touch directly, who in turn react to my actions and touch others, who do the same, and so forth.
Leaders see the larger whole and take action that considers both my individual situation and the health of the whole system. Without the system, we all suffer, or even perish.
When I understand this relationship of my corner of the world to the whole world, I can act more rationally and compassionately. I can look around in my immediate vicinity and ask, “What can I do to make things better for myself and others?”
After all, I ripple.