Guest Opinion by Moshe Scheiner
As Americans make their final decision on whom they want to be their leader, many cast the final vote depending on the candidate’s party affiliation and views. Most are frustrated later when the candidate fails to fulfill campaign promises.
When choosing a leader it is important to not only to choose a leader based on his vision but also to take into account the candidate’s core views and motivation.
We learn that Moses, the greatest leader in Biblical history, was chosen to be the leader of the Jewish nation, after G-d saw him go into the mountains to rescue a lone sheep that had wandered away from the flock and was in danger.
From a leadership standpoint, it seems a bit foolish of G-d, to choose the “greatest” leader of Jewish history, based on a story that seemingly has little to do with possessing the necessary qualifications needed to lead a nation of such multitude. A leader of so many would seemingly require great charisma, brilliance and decision making skills, if not more – skills that the ordinary shepherd wouldn’t be accused of having!
G-d teaches us a simple thing to look for in leaders, and yet the most fundamental trait for leadership. G-d chose Moshe to lead the nation based on him displaying the quality of caring for each individual member of the flock, containing a selfless love for all, non-dependent on an individuals’ self-worth, compared to the majority.
Moses wasn’t chosen to lead based on the way we subconsciously choose candidates today, party affiliation, charisma, speaking abilities, pasted smiles, quoted promises, or debating skills,- interestingly enough; Moses was lacking in those areas as we learn Moses had a serious speech impediment. Despite that, G-d chose Moses to become a leader based on his living with a true selfless love for all, which was deftly shown by the rescuing of a stray sheep.
A true leader, a Moshe, is not one who is driven by ideas or political ideology but rather by a genuine love for humanity. A “leader” has a selflessness that transcends the natural desire for self-aggrandizement, popularity, and makes choices, that best serves each individual member of his/her flock. This motivation coupled together with vision, drive and charisma etc. is the foundation of a successful leader.
History has shown us repeatedly that the leaders who have made the greatest positive impact, were those who felt pained over the calamities that were befalling others around them and decided to stand up and fight the course of the present, with great passion.
Truth be told it’s unfair to sit by idly and pick leaders and then approve or disprove of their performance from a distance. We must own up and accept our own leadership, whether it be in our personal lives, the influence we have on family and friends, or the impact we can have in helping other humans in need. We must own up to our purpose and divine mission that we each have in this world, and strive to make a positive impact in every situation we come across. We must use our sphere of influence to change molded behaviors acquired in ourselves as well as the world around us.
In all personal, social, and global issues which we may be a part or observant of, we can either decide to stand by idly, i.e., be a part of the problem, or we can rise to the occasion, stand up and demand change, beginning with the most simple inner and outer proclamation of “enough is enough”!
We should evaluate our candidates to get a sense of who has shown a stronger and more selfless love for America and her citizens, based on their previous actions, before voting in our shepherd.