It is incredulous to imagine that the evident reality of our warming planet has been met with extreme politicization and deep-seated scepticism to science across the world. Scientists have been branded as alarmists; public advocates have been met with life-threatening opposition (227 were killed in 2020), and Greta Thunberg has been called everything from mentally-ill to communist propagandist.
The premise of democratic governance is that people who are entrusted with leadership should govern with the best interests of the people at all times. This is where most leaders fail. John Magufuli’s presidency is a contemporary case study in leadership that gets it right on one level, and absolutely falls apart on another.
As humans, we tend to project our highest aspirations on to our leaders, expecting them on their worst days to be the embodiment of who we struggle to be on our best days. Donald Trump simply bucked the trend. He had no time (or capability) for make-believe – he lived out his real and true self on the pages of Twitter every single day, and that scared some of us and emboldened the rest of us. Our society indeed is polarized, far beyond what we are prepared to admit.
Mr President, the buck stops at your table, and history right now records that you presided over the killing of your citizens, and you proceeded to threaten them in your distasteful speech afterwards. You acted neither like an elder, a Nigerian statesman or a President.
Hard things are hard, and that’s the hard thing about hard things. But not all things are hard, and at times, that’s a hard thing to accept. Like writing this article – conventionally, all that it takes is a five-paragraph outline and a general sense… Read More »Hard Things Are Hard. But What about Willpower?
I have come to realize that our lives become the totality of the individual actions that we take — that we are better off previewing our futures through the actions of today. If our works are not credit-worthy today, they will not be tomorrow; but if we commit to creating value, even if we do not see the results immediately, everything will make sense down the line.
People always want to know how I found the courage to start an organization while in university, and how I aggregated the resources. My answer is simple — just start. When I started, I had no idea what was required to run an organization and I received advice from nobody. I simply wrote down my ideas in a journal, introduced those ideas to a few friends, invited them for a meeting and took their questions.
I am convinced that there are no disadvantaged people in life. There are only people who refuse to make the most of the resources available to them. I know that there are people who have had it far worse than I have in life, but I have also seen people from much poorer backgrounds who have achieved far more than I have. We need to stop complaining about what we do not have and start maximizing what we do have.
As I have found myself in positions to mentor others, I have devised a theory of my own – that everyone is qualified to be a mentor. I believe that even if you are only one step ahead of another person on the ladder of life, you have a responsibility – an obligation – to reach behind you and help them up with a combination of your experiences and your wisdom.
Public leadership must always be held in trust. The privileges that we hold today must never be equated with lifetime mandates. Individuals who have been called to serve must truly approach their tenure with an element of humility and a commitment to decisiveness. In these uncertain times, people cannot afford many apologies. Who knows what new challenge lurks around the corner?