Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Power to the People...

The other day I heard a snippet of a report on NPR about how poor the drinking water can be in Pakistan. I don't recall the exact statistics they presented, but the number of kids getting ill because of filthy drinking water was astronomical and the doctors there can't do much about it.

Situations like this one that was depicted are truly deplorable, especially to think that the main pollution in the water in places like Pakistan come from man made chemicals, untreated sewage, and other preventable sources. It's no wonder that angry citizens rise up and riot and overthrow governments in various corners of the world. While I never can condone violence, I can at least empathize with the plight of those that have to live in these filthy conditions day in and day out.

Interestingly, however, it seems that those groups who do rise to power do absolutely nothing (for the most part) to help their fellow citizens, but instead run off with their newfound power and leave the people behind. I, personally, would think that if these people overthrew the government, the first thing they would want to do in order to gain MORE power would be to help their countrymen. By having a safe, happy, healthy citizenry behind you, by default you become a more powerful person since you're their leader.

An example of this is right here in America. While poverty does still exist in this country unfortunately, it's safe to say that most people have all of the basics building blocks (like running water, ample food at affordable prices, shelter, etc.) at their fingertips to live a healthier life than those citizens of Third World countries. And as a result, American citizens can strive for more prosperous livelihoods. In doing so, they, in turn, help strengthen the country by contributing to the well-being of society.

But in a place where people can't even obtain the basic elements of life, the ability to move up in the world will always be out of reach since most people's time and energy is spent just trying to get by.

So the lesson here, in my viewpoint, is if you want to gain success as a leader (be it as a leader of a country or just at your job), your best bet would be to empower others along the way.

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