In this country, around the world, in business and in life, good decisions and forward movement are often characterized by the tenacity and courage of leaders who know the difference between sticking to principle and drawing an early line in the sand. We don't need more vitriolic rhetoric and accusations about who is right and who is wrong. We need ethical men and women who understand that true compromise is not acquiescence, but a process of finding the very best solutions to difficult problems; solutions that will benefit and support the wealthiest and the poorest and most needy among us. We are sorely in need of strong leadership in this country-for our corporations, our schools, our communities and our nation-the kind of leadership that has the courage to forge common solutions that will help us all move forward.
I read somewhere recently that change always creates loss-that is part of the reason we hold on to "the way it used to be" for so long. Embracing change requires a belief that something better and more meaningful will emerge as a result. People and institutions are not changed by battering rams of ugly dissension and accusation, and "better" is always in the eyes of the beholder, especially if we are focused on #1. When we remember Abraham Lincoln's quote from Gettysburg, ".....government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from this earth," it seems imperative that we seek to act inclusively rather than exclusively. Tea Party members are not the only patriots in our country safeguarding the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Liberals are not all socialists seeking to dismantle private interests and give away the store to lazy union workers and undeserving citizens who just don't work hard enough. Experienced teachers are not all incompetent and the newly minted are not all superstars imperiled by outdated seniority policies.
By and large I think Americans are frustrated with the perpetual tendency to categorize everyone in the extreme. They understand the solutions aren't simple. The history of generations bears out the need for dialogue about what is good for all of us, not just what is good for me. Perhaps we should consider this-maybe it isn't that people and institutions don't want to change- maybe it's just because they don't want to lose. It's worth thinking about, but that's just my opinion.