Monday, October 13, 2008

Missed Opportunity

Sadly both Obama and McCain missed an opportunity to move this country toward greatness Even now they could do it, but it will take a strong leader. At the second debate, they were questioned when they would ask the citizens of this country to sacrifice. We are in the midst of two wars, tumultuous upheaval in the financial markets, and a deepening reliance on foreign oil. Yet in all of the talk, there has been no request for us, as citizens, to do anything. We are just supposed to go on about our business and not be a part of the future of our nation. That cannot happen.

Individuals, organizations, and nations that achieve greatness do so through sacrifice and struggle. They put aside individual comforts for the greater good. They realize that even small actions, combined, have tremendous impact. There is no person, organization, or nation that achieved greatness without sacrifice. Our nation was built on that notion, but recently we've seemed to have lost our concept of personal responsibility. Once we elect our leaders (which only a small percentage of us do) we then leave it to them to make everything right. It gives us great comfort that when things do not go our way we can blame them and not have to look in the mirror.

Whether they do it now or when one of them gets in the White House, either Obama or McCain has to call on all of us to help fix the problem. Though both of them have promised to end the Iraq war one way or the other, we still have to deal with the return of our troops and treating them well. We have a tremendous dependence on foreign oil and we could curb our use of it daily, move toward more energy efficiency and assist companies to find alternative fuel sources. We could even assist in repairing our international relations. All of us know people in countries around the world. A focused effort of contact with friends, asking for their assistance and getting a strong message out about our global concern, could begin to turn the tide, rather than wait for diplomats to do it.

I'm sure there are other ideas you have to change the world. But there are few of us who have the impact of a Bill Gates. Together, however, we can make a difference.

We need to be challenged by a leader who tells us what we can do and doesn't take it all on him or her self. We need to know we are part of the remedy. That struggle unites a people. That struggle unites a nation. That struggle makes a nation great.