What Can We Do When Our Leaders Let Us Down?

What comes to mind immediately is the Bible verse “Don’t put your trust in princes.” (Psalm 146:3) To me that verse reminds us that we are all human. Having wealth and power does not change that humanity which will never be perfect in the use of power or in wisdom. It is unrealistic on our part to expect any human being to fulfill all our expectations perfectly.

The second Bible verse that comes to mind is “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) This one reminds me that empires rise and fall, national governments come and go, but the lives of most ordinary people will go on from generation to generation. The quality of life may increase or decrease, but life will go on.

These verses help me take a deep breath and calm my mind and spirit. Then I can more rationally figure out what to do. In any relationship that can involve love or hate, trust or distrust, there needs to some rational decision making. Whether the relationship is personal, political or business, there will be a point where I decide what can be tolerated for the sake of some greater goal.

Jesus told his fellow Jews that Moses allowed divorce in the marital laws of the Torah because of hardness of heart. I understand hardness of heart to mean that someone refuses to change behavior that is destructive to the relationship. That refusal to change destructive behavior allows a break in what should be considered sacred.

This principle can be applied to other relationships. When we reach a point in the relationship with our leaders that we deem is intolerable and we realize that the common good is being destroyed, then we need to act. That is what Thomas Jefferson wrote about so eloquently in the Declaration of Independence.

In our society we have ways to address this point of intolerance. Divorces happen, clergy can be removed, and politicians and can be impeached. Just think, then act, using the processes available.

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