(on March 30th... 6500 had read (rising by the minute)... 252 had shared... 700 had LIKED... some left messages at the bottom of this page...)
Dear Political Leaders,
We are very frustrated at the bottom of the hill. We voted for you and our taxes pay your wages. We are those you are working for.
We vote for you and pay for your leadership. We are hoping for leadership in health and in education, in business, in employment and infrastructure. Maybe above all that, or at least as a huge priority, we are looking for your leadership in reconciliation.
We have come out of a dark time. Your predecessors, and indeed some of you, brought us out of a bloody and heinous conflict. We long that that would be consolidated and moved froward so that the next generations might not suffer what we had to for so long.
As we watch our news today and look up the hill in the hope that peace and prosperity would trickle down, we are frustrated, almost angry. We have been through two elections in ten months. We see everything stalled and our leaders seemingly playing a 6th Form Debate with each other. We feel that you are living up to our television comedy, “Don’t blame yourselves… blame each other.”
At the bottom of the hill, on the streets and across the fields, the people of this country are asking for more from you. We want progress. Dare we say it, we want compromise, so that peace and prosperity might flood down the hill.
Let me share something from the Bible. Some of us believe it to be true and live our lives by it. Even if you do not believe it to be true it has some very strong lessons for leadership, particularly in a conflict situation.
God has been betrayed by his own. They have caused enmity. They have hurt him, caused him deep pain. He has the power. He could annihilate them. It would be in some ways justice.
God doesn’t. He becomes one of them, empathising with them. He loves them. He asks nothing from them in restoring the broken relationship. He serves them, his enemies. Instead of demanding that his enemies take the justice they deserve, he actually sacrifices his own life in order to deal with the injustices that were done to him.
It is a bit mad. The Bible calls it grace. It is a generous reaching out across enmity to the other. It is unconditional. With grace the one who was has been hurt moves first to restore the fractured relationship. This sparks change in those reached out to.
This is brave and courageous stuff. It is not easy. However, it is our only hope. It is the recipe for an extraordinary leadership perhaps best illustrated, in human terms in our recent history, by Nelson Mandela.
The idea at the centre of this, that we would urge you to bring into play, is the “common good”. We know that you are frightened of losing your vote, your seat, your piece of the power. Leadership that will be remembered has to climb outside that self obsession and ask what needs to be done for the common good of the entire population whether they voted for you or not, whether they are perceived as your neighbour or your enemy.
So, go on, make history. Be leaders that this country will talk about for centuries to come and not just argue about on some morning radio programme.
We are beginning to wonder if you have the vision or the courage. Show us you do. Do the business. NOW!
Grace to you all,
The Frustrated at the bottom of the hill.