Proposed votes of no confidence, the US presidential primary elections, die-hard dictators – these are but a few recent issues in the news reminding us of the power held by leaders, and what an emotive issue this is.
It’s undeniable that a good leader leaves an indelible mark and shapes culture. Former President Nelson Mandela’s legacy of philanthropy and servant-hearted leadership has inspired many to give back.
Being a person who shapes culture takes courage. In a recent statement, President Barack Obama said [about being president] that “…it’s not a matter of pandering and doing whatever will get you in the news… sometimes it requires you making hard decisions even when people don’t like it, and doing things that are unpopular, and standing up for people who are vulnerable but don’t have some powerful political constituency…”
But being brave and influencing culture is not just for presidents. It may not be on such a large scale, but if each of us, where we are, started living our lives with the change we want to see happen in our country in mind, great things could happen. Cue Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”. Yes, this may sound exhausting, or even a little naive – especially to those who’ve tried and have been hurt. But there is power in recognising that you, whoever you are, have the ability to influence – even if it is just one person. How you choose to influence is up to you.
To those who are already shaping and influencing culture for the better: well done and thank you! South Africa needs more people like you – keep strong, and keep inspiring us to become people who are working towards a better South Africa.
If you have people in your life who embody the “be the change” mentality, and are committed to seeing change happen in South Africa – regardless of how they may be doing this, please let us know. We’d love to help celebrate these people.