During a sermon I heard recently, the minister said, “The world is looking for an answer.” Although this statement was made within the context of a much broader subject, that portion has stuck in my head for weeks.
In recent years, blogs are becoming more popular than traditional news articles. YouTube postings are garnering greater attention than television commercials. Social networking is surpassing traditional organized groups. Why?
It seems that we are no longer satisfied with the messages that have presented to us in the past. We are a society seeking answers to the problems that plague us. We no longer want to read about the problems, continue seeing surface solutions and listening to the same message over and over again. We are looking for answers. We are seeking people and places that can improve our lives rather than continuing to do the same thing that we have always done yet expecting things to somehow turn out differently (definition of insanity, right?).
I often wonder what draws people to my blog, especially the relationship category which is by far the most popular. I don’t think that I say/type anything extremely profound but I just share my common sense approach to life – be the best person that I can be, do all that I can to help others and believe in myself and humanity. I believe that as we find issues in our lives to improve, we are no longer content to find people with the same issues and discuss them. We want to find someone with a solution or to provide a direction to creating something better for ourselves.
Our society is moving away from being focused solely on our self-interest to realizing the importance of developing communities and relying on each for support and encouragement. We are looking for answers and it is my prayer that religious and political leaders will pick up the mantle and stop talking “at us” and begin talking “to us.”
Many people who may still be perplexed by the overwhelming support of President Obama believe that it was his fiery rhetoric that engaged the country when it was actually his ability to connect with the problems facing the average American and present possible solutions. Many are disillusioned because he has not been able, in their opinion, to deliver on the “promises” that he made. Those people don’t understand our tainted political system and have overestimated his abilities as one person overseeing one branch of the three within our government. One of the messages that I believe was chanted yet not internalized during in his campaign is “Yes, WE can!” He did not say, “Yes, I can” rather he challenged each of us to do our part to not only improve our personal situations but also to look out for our fellow-man. Health care reform was not about taking from one group to provide for another but ensuring that everyone has “access” to affordable medical coverage.
I know of a family who during the health care debate was afraid that Obama was trying to take away their health insurance. They had “good” insurance and wanted to keep it that way. However, they were not paying attention to the overall condition of our economy and how it would effect them. They were so focused on their situation that they were not looking around to find answers to the problems that plagued their community. The company of the primary insured spouse was bought out by a new company who is now offering them inferior coverage at a higher cost. This couple would not stand up and fight for equal benefits for everyone because they were so focused on hanging on to their piece of the pie and now they are about to go hungry like the people they were so ready to leave behind.
Religious leaders have also taken for granted that they have a social responsibility to provide leadership outside of the pulpit. In previous generations, the church was a safe place to go to information and guidance; however, we now fear the ulterior agendas of many ministers while others have shirked their responsibilities all together. We are searching for solutions and those willing to lead us… notice lead us not direct us. We want our leaders to show us the way and not merely tell us where to go. Although our leaders are human, which means that they will also detour from the path of righteousness, we must seek those with the wisdom to admit their shortfalls while embarking on the journey with us. If your leader, religious or otherwise, is not willing to walk their talk, how far should you be following?
As we seek answers to the problems in our lives, I want to provide a few pieces of advice:
- Know what your issues are before you seek answers.
- Before calling yourself a leader, know where you are going.
- Don’t expect everyone else to solve your problems. What works for one person may not work for you but you can learn something from their process and consider applying portions to your life.
- When seeking solution, don’t just consider how they will affect you but consider the community as a whole.
Knowledge is power. Educate yourself. Don’t be afraid to question those who seek to lead you. Step up with solutions of your own, we all have something to contribute.