September 18, 2013

Mere following is not enough

In life there are followers and leaders; Leaders lead and followers follow - simple enough. But not simple enough if the following is to be a consequence of an active processing of weighing pros and cons and the resulting personal decision being the reason for following rather than being like a hoard of humans merely corralled. In this latter case it is mere passivity that is the dynamic and has little human element.

In democracy this parochial ideal of followers and leaders change 180 degrees. The followers are really the leaders and the leaders are the followers -- of the wishes of the people. The struggle and challenge in every democratic society is the wriggling out from the vestiges of thinking in an oppressed past into a moment of freedom where one can exercise his or her decision with responsibility. As we all know, with great power -- that inherent attribute vested in the democratic process -- come great responsibility. This means, without the exercise of responsibility - that reflection needed to ascertain the good or bad consequence of the action we take - the power of freedom that we inherit in democracy is meaningless for in such a case we go back into the jungle.

Our follower-ship must be imbued with active reflection upon which we are asked to follow. Only when we become thinking human beings can we materialize democracy into the vibrancy it deserves. Otherwise it will be just old wine in new bottles so to say.

1 comment:

Social Design said...

I fully agree. We are each responsible for the decisions we make and have to consider the consequences of our actions, especially when it comes to a big decision such as using your one vote. And an election only comes once in so many years.