In ancient times, communities expected from their political leaders to have a spiritual connection. A society did not choose a king who was merely a good warrior or politician, but one who also understood the science of caring for the people and who could communicate with higher spiritual realms.
Righteous kingmakers or priests would monitor such leaders to ensure proper behaviour. But today, we are surrounded by cheaters and the cheated, and everyone is running for sense gratification.
Because ALL leaders – not just spiritual leaders – serve as representatives of God, the actions of those who take unfair advantage of others can have enormous impact. In our families, for example, parents should be channelling divine energies to their children. Unfortunately, all too often this does not happen.
Leaders should never consider themselves as proprietors of those in their charge. Ownership implies that we have a right to do with our property as we will, and it can serve as justification for all kinds of exploitation and abuse. But if we view ourselves as caretakers, coordinators, catalysts or carriers of the vision, and if we treat others in loving, supportive ways, we will not engage in such exploitation.
Author: Bhakti-tirtha Swami was born John E. Favors in a pious, God-fearing family. As a child evangelist he appeared regularly on television. As a young man he was a leader in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s civil rights movement. At Princeton University he became president of the student council and also served as the chairman of the Third World Coalition. Although his main degree is in psychology, he has received accolades in many other fields, including politics, African studies, and international law.