Are there personal traits that someone might have that can bring us, Americans, closer? For some stupid reason we have as a nation behaved like rivals. Our public discourse has been coarsening and it has lowered the threshold for acting out, being rude, being unkind. Is that who we are deep inside or are we more evolved, or are we both? We can choose by deciding which one we feed. If it only takes a bully pulpit for someone to expose us for who we really are, then we need to be very careful who we give the bully pulpit.
We have become gullible. If we identify as red then we more easily believe the negative we hear and read about the blue and the positive about the red. The blue have the same gullibility.
We have become all or nothing politically and while The United States of America is the world’s most dominant economic and military power with the best hospitals and universities, and with its cultural imprint spanning the world, led in large part by its popular culture expressed in music, movies and television, other countries are happier and healthier.
Ranking of the Top 10 Countries in the World, Best Countries Report, U.S. News & World Report based on being seen as a stable and safe society in which individuals can develop and prosper, and is open, fair and equitable:
1. Canada 2. Japan 3. Germany 4. Switzerland 5. Australia 6. United States 7. New Zealand 8. United Kingdom 9. Sweden 10. Netherlands
So, who is going to bring us together and stop the petty bickering that ignores so much that we have in common and want? Let’s look at traits.
We all are better prepared to sacrifice when we are confident that our leaders are focused on the one issue that will get us closer to normal as fast as possible.
We are close to another election. The incumbent had anticipated that the economy would be the wave that carried him into a second term.
It would take guts for anybody to order stay at home orders, spend billions on ventilators and masks before we believed it was in our best interests.
It would take guts to tell America there was an invisible force coming.
What would not have taken guts was testing.
The failure to immediately go all in on testing is unforgivable.
Testing would have primed the nation to accept the next measures.
But that is leadership. It’s the Who, What, When, and How of success.
Great leaders know intuitively who to listen to, what to do first, when to act, and how to tell a nation we are in trouble if we don’t act now and act boldly.
Great leaders do not try to rewrite history or call truth fake news. Alternative history is not real.
Leadership requires trust and trust comes from being consistently honest.
Humility and a since of spirituality helps build trust. Great leaders need to be perceived as straight shooters and not be perceived as deceitful by over half the population.
Who would have been the leader that could have acted boldly and quickly? We don’t know. It’s one thing to make a decision while on the hot seat and another while on the sofa.
The problem is that much of the spread of Covid 19 stems from the 70 days that passed from the time Trump was briefed and the day when he stopped downplaying the pandemic. He was calling it fake news instead of rallying governors, mayors, and us into taking action and investing in ventilators and masks. Trump did not ask for the stimulus package and when the first one passed he said it was more than he wanted.
I said it would have taken guts to tell the nation we were in trouble, that there was an invisible wave of destruction coming our way. Lack of guts means fear is present.
David R Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. Power versus Force, The Hidden Determinants Of Human Behavior, Hay House 2002, created a map of consciousness that placed the predominant 17 emotions a person might have ranging from shame to enlightenment. Here are those emotions from lowest to highest: 1 shame, 2 guilt, 3 apathy/hopelessness, 4 grief, 5 fear, 6 desire, 7 anger, 8 pride, 9 courage, 10 neutrality, 11 willingness, 12 acceptance, 13 reason, 14 love, 15 joy, 16 peace, 17 enlightenment.
His studies showed that at levels below courage, the primary impetus is personal survival, although at the very bottom of the scale where hopelessness and depression reside, even this motive is lacking.He says at least fear and anger contain survival instincts. At the level of pride, Hawkins states, the survival motive may expand to comprehend the survival of others as well. As we move into the level of courage, the well-being of others becomes increasingly more important.
A case can be made that the President was fearful. Fearful that this pandemic would be the disastrous for his chances of being reelected.