It is interesting that the Independence Pledge makes a distinction between leaders, elders and those in authority. There may be situations where a single person can wear all these hats at once but this is not always the case. Today we will look at honouring our leaders by being respectful.
National leaders, those elected and appointed, are often vilified, lampooned, praised and applauded, all within a single hour, by the same people. Their mistakes and gaffs are laid bare for all to see (repeatedly for years and years on the internet). Imagine yourself in their position, from time to time, and remember they are humans too. The second thing we must consider is that we are not standing at their vantage point so our perspective will be vastly different. It is possible that our decisions may be the same if we were in the same position.
Another aspect of being human is that leaders have their peeves, preferences, unholy inclinations, biases and hang-ups just as we do. Most political arguments centre around a combination of these things but at the end of it all, we cannot go wrong by being respectful to our leaders in public and in private. So important is this truth that a wise man wrote,
“Do not revile the king even in your thoughts or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words and, a bird on the wing may report what you say.”
Literally it means that your thoughts becomes words and your words become actions. To revile means to criticize in an abusive or angrily insulting manner. The text is not saying you should call wrong, right or never point out where some has made a bad decision, it is cautioning how we do this.
Leaders in wider society
Here are some reasons for respecting leaders, be they managers, supervisors, religious leaders, chairpersons, CEOs, etc.
1.God has the final say
- “It is God who judges: He brings down one, He exults another”. Psalm 75.7
- “He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning”. Daniel 2:21
2. The Golden Rule
- “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you”. Matthew 7:12
3. Disrespect looks bad on you
- Even though others may cheer you on, one day you may be left with ‘egg on your face.’
4. There is absolutely NOTHING to be gained by being disrespectful
- You are more likely to lose your job, position, opportunities, friends, influence etc if you revile your leaders.
5. Set a good example
- This is the crux of this entire campaign for a better country. We must realize our responsibility to set a good example. We never know when some will follow our lead and take things too far resulting in dire consequences. People in Trinidad and Tobago may recall that whole “Granny Quila” incident with the teenage girl on YouTube….’nuff said.
Be the change you want to see in T&T