The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse will darken the United States from Oregon to South Carolina with a 70 mile wide strip of darkness. A total solar eclipse happens when the moon completely covers the sun in an otherwise bright day. This positioned alignment of the moon seems to cover the much larger sun. The moon actually blocks out the light from the brightness of the sun. There may be some emotions, astonishment, disbelief, even anxiety as people watch the brightness of the sun slowly eclipsed and all is turned into darkness. This occurs for only a few minutes but creates an eerie feeling. What we can count on is our bright sun having been blocked into darkness will return from the dark abyss. What if everything froze and the moon decided to keep us in darkness? Intellectually we know that will never happen because the suns brightness cannot be hidden for long.
Likewise even the poorest myopic leader in our history cannot dim the brightness of the United States of America. One person cannot sully the shine and strength of what we collectedly have created over our 241-year history. We collectively will not allow the lack of leadership to tarnish our brightness. The following are attributes necessary to shine brightness back after the eclipsed day:
Great leaders bring people together. They help the divided to become united through the representation of the common good. Special Interests Groups (SIG) will avoid the common good for their dark ideology blocks common good. We need to focus on a common good that represents what has been created by all those who fought for freedom and understand the pain of war and defeat through the realism of sacrifice. Hatred divides and tears at the fabric woven by the sacrifices of men and women of all creeds and races that built this country. Leaders must stand for the truth and clarity of righteousness. “We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out”. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
#2: Communicate a message of Peace and Unity
Leaders inspire people to transcend self-interest and focus on the unity. Special Interests Groups are self-serving and don’t support the common goal of the many. We as a nation have prospered and thrived on the backs of slaves and immigrants after they arrived on our shores. Everyone in this country with the exception of Native Americans, at one time had ancestors who were forced or came willingly to this country by boat, plane, or walked. Our great strength is through the diversity that we all bring to the country. Bright leaders foster the goodness of cultures, race, religion, economic status, and gender. The USA is a work in progress, a process that is now spiraling in a retrogressive path toward divisive rhetoric by people in leadership positions who disavow the truth. Like the moon slowly passing in front of the sun a new day of brightness will come as the moon passes out of the shadows. Now the quiet have been raised to anger speaking out to stop the narcissistic acts of the ego-centered unappreciative. People looking for justice now only find the harsh words of emotional anger. “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Trust is the glue that holds this country together. Trust is based on a history of two or more people working together, communicating thoughts and feelings, and taking or not taking action. People now are being united against the acts of hatred being demonstrated by the self-serving. The poorest leader is now being taken to task for the absence of standing up for what is right. When a leader continually denies a truth, falsifies statements, and continues to bring unsubstantiated innuendo, people lose trust. The moon is going to cover the sun but not for long: we all have trust that it will move out of the way and the sun’s brightness will return. Trust equals doing what you say and showing that you are capable. “Still I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain (what I consider the most enviable of all titles) the character of an honest man.” George Washington
#4: Statements of Truth
What is the truth? The truth is a communication or reality, based on facts and evidence. It can be something found out after thorough analysis of facts and evidence. Because someone says something it does not make it a truth. Even when repeated over and over again until people begin to question what the truth is, it does not change fiction into reality or truth into falsehoods. People make false statements to grandstand or create attention for themselves, but that does not change the reality of the truth. The moon will eclipse the sun but not for long. The poorest leaders can spout untruths but not for long. Truth is not what makes someone feel good or important: it is a fact-based event that has occurred. A long-winded restated falsehood is still a falsehood. Just as bad is the person in a leadership position who remains silent and does not stand up for the truth. The Greek word for “truth” is aletheia, which literally means to “un-hide” or “hide nothing.” It conveys the thought that truth is always there, always open and available for all to see, with nothing being hidden or obscured. “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts”. Abraham Lincoln
Inspire people to do more than they thought they would or could. The poorest of the leaders creates a phenomenon forcing good people to unite and come together for the sake of truth. The unintended consequence of this creates an opportunity for people to rise up for justice. The bond among foes now is to fight against injustice and a wrong. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.Edmund Burke. How long will it take for the moon to eclipse the sun? How long will it take for the poorest of leaders to vacate? “How long? Not long, because “no lie can live forever.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Summary: The eclipse of the sun in and of itself is a phenomenon, just like bad leadership. Fortunately, bad leadership does not define the day or our country. Sunlight returns out of the eclipse and good leaders will emerge to move our country forward.