For too long, I have been promised a wide array of things, of ideas, of possibilities, of futures, by those who see themselves as some sort of leader standing above the crowd. And for too long, have these promises, these inspirational speeches, these appeals to our emotions, our ethics, and logic, aroused our sympathy, our trust, and often ended up falling short of their goals.
Why is it that those we have voted for, those who typically seek to represent us, and furthermore provide us with what we as the people need, or with what they have often promised, often fail to deliver? Why is that those we call ‘civil servants’, do everything but serve ‘us’, the people, and end up representing the wishes of those other than the people, or worse, only themselves?
Democracy has proven itself to be a spectacle, a caricature of what it originally intended to stand for. Our leaders appear now as talking caricatures themselves, functioning as conduits rather than human beings. Our bodies—political, physical, social—do not correspond with what our hearts or our minds truly intend.
Perhaps the issue is that, once given the power or authority to represent or to speak on behalf of, those who hold the authority are then destined to get it wrong or simply lose focus. Perhaps the privilege granted comes with a degree of being complicit rather than accountable. Perhaps a conflict of interest is what characterizes the ins and outs of a ‘democracy’. Perhaps leading from the ‘top-down’ is doomed to fail, and perhaps the only and most practical form of leadership is from the 'bottom-up'. Perhaps we are to be the leaders, we the people, not the presidents, not the ministers, not the officers, not the legislators, not the grandiose speakers, not the representatives, not the CEOs, not the PR department, not those who hold their power above us, for it is not the bud or the branches that holds up the tree, but it is its roots, the infinite network, that connects us and holds us together indefinitely, and keeps the entire assemblage standing.
It is up to us, and only us. We cannot depend on others for our salvation, our sunlight. We cannot defer our responsibility and our duties onto others just because they may be more qualified or just because we may have more interesting endeavors at hand. If we wish to see growth, if we want change, we must draw upon the dirt, the mud, the water that trickles around us and nourishes our being, to grow upon it, for only then can we become full. It is we who must sustain ourselves, and in doing so we naturally become the teeming reservoirs capable of sustaining the entire whole.