Do not just follow my footsteps, first ask me where do they lead?

img_8282I just turned off the news. Utterly put off by an american in a white cap, red tee-shirt and blue jeans. As normal as he came across his words sounded abnormal to what he and his country once represented. An ignorant, judgemental, buck-passer – a nationalist. His words kept ringing in my mind. “They are immigrants, they are the cause of all the problems we now see”.  He white cap read “Vote for Trump.”

I look back at the real leaders that have left footprints, a lasting legacy for us to follow. Those that will be remembered for centuries to come; Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, Winston Churchill…..and many others. They fought for what they believed in. They fought for freedom, independence, equality and the simple right to be a decent human.

Now, I look at what my son might grow up to call leaders….. dont get me wrong, many of which are still great leaders; Narendra Modi, Pope Francis, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, but the likes of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, George W Bush, Robert Mugabe …. (you get my drift) diluted  and poisoned by the very definition of leadership. The hard work and their  sacrifices now seem as though they hadn’t quite etched a path in the sand, despite giving their life to fight foe the freedoms we now enjoy.

Sacrifice is a big word. I challenge Donald Trump to tell me one thing he has sacrificed in his life? One that if not the world, atleast his nation would be proud of. (His answer would probably be a golf holiday to attend his daughter birthday!  Haha ).

I fear for what my son will look up to. The role models he will learn from and the shadow  today’s society casts into his future. I fear for the values he will stand up for, his redefined view on patriotism, love, sacrifice, hope, hard work, fairness, equality.

We all have a right to decide what we want to make of our lives. It is sad that politics interferes in our freedom of expression, identity and heritage. The basic fundamental values that make us who we are. Our personal rights that ONLY belong to ourselves.

Today’s government takes back the very control that a democratic nation had given us. They try to control, dictate and divide. The simplicity of governing right from wrong is now a grey mass. Paintbrushed with generalisation and a failed logic. Is this what we want to pass on to our children? The alternative facts ….?

Our forefathers respected the visionaries, scientists, leaders and philosophers who dreamt of understanding the world we live in, who went beyond the eye to see and imagined as far as time could travel. They gathered facts, postulates and with logic pieced the very existence of our beings. They gave us science, reason and answers to the earth we live in and the planets beyond. They did all this because they thought outwards. Now, those that call themselves leaders are herding us into caves, asking us to be silo’d cavemen, doctrine to only think black or white. As much as the world’s global reach is now in our palm, networked and intertwined, with immense knowledge, we are still the fools. We seize to think outwards and are now preconditioned to think inwards. We are following a path forward but footprints leading us back.

I am in fear of the fools who will make our next generation foolish.

I have to be the change I want my son to see. I can’t expect others to set the example and be the role model. I don’t want him to follow my foot steps, I want him to ask me where they lead before he decides whether he wants to follow them. And when I lead him in the right direction, I want him to take the path next to  me but go further and beyond ….. way way beyond than I had ever imagined.

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