The collective American consciousness needs to regain the kind of excitement and creativity that it experienced under TR, FDR, and JFK – a sense of reform, a sense of challenge, and a passionate desire for everyone to move forward together, as particularly exemplified by Bobby Kennedy. Americans as a collective society need to dream again. They need to have grand objectives and think out of the box.
We have the know-how and the talent to fulfill any dream, but we must compartmentalize our differences and halt the political civil war that we are embroiled in for the sake of our children and grandchildren and focus on a process that encompasses well-defined, universal goals. Diversity is the spice of life, but understanding the role of universality is what will save us.
Integrity is the Litmus Test for Leadership
To formulate a universal directive or plan requires many political leaders of integrity. Life intelligence and the ability to consistently make good judgments can only exist in an atmosphere of integrity.
Our leaders can be shrewd or clever – or even have photographic memories or outstanding academic records, but without integrity there is no possibility that a leader has the life intelligence to create a better future for our descendants.
Without leaders of integrity, democracy won’t work. Without leaders of integrity, democratic checks and balances are but a mirage.
Most Important Life Principle That Defines Integrity
Our leaders must understand that to lift up another person is to lift up yourself and to lift up the country. Our government must lift up the citizens in such a way that the citizenry will embrace this approach and pay it forward generation after generation.
The citizen our leaders lift up today may be the future grandparent of a Nobel Laureate.
Wikipedia states that the Pay It Forward “concept was rediscovered and described by Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Benjamin Webb dated April 25, 1784” and states:
“I do not pretend to give such a deed; I only lend it to you. When you […] meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro’ many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.” – Benjamin Franklin