Choosing leaders - Think before you elect
Since the beginning of humanity, and the development of populations, people tried to get organised in order to make a decision. Rather than all talking at the same time, they decided to have representatives, talking on their behalf.
The first to structure such a concept were the ancient Greeks, who created the word, Democracy.
Democracy comes from the word, 'demos' which means common people and 'cratos' meaning power.
Then when the state became bigger, they used politics from 'polis', the large city, such as Heliopolis, Persepolis etc. And finally they created the word diplomacy from the word 'diplos' meaning double and 'matos', meaning 'face - double face'!
What does leadership mean?
We have had leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Lyndon Johnson, Cyrus the Great, Mahathir, Mosaddegh, Willy Brandt, Adenauer, Churchill, de Gaulle, and then we had others, like the North Korean president, the US president, Ceausescu and Idi Amin.
At the same time there are proven heroes who made their country grow such as Oman's His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, etc.
A majority of the leaders come and promise to change things for the better in the shortest possible time. But at the end of their term, they do everything to stay longer (for example Mugabe), or radically change the promises they made, such as J Magufuli from Tanzania. Is it greed, is it the system that makes these leaders forget why they came to power?
People elected them to talk on their behalf. Now they talk and tell the people what to do. Where did humanity go wrong? It is time to change the laws and criteria for the election of our leaders? Do we need to better educate those who will vote? The world order of the 21st century calls probably for a more global view. New issues which did not exist before are now priorities on the table such as immigration, climate change, information world, currency issues, raw material and food shortage.
What has really changed from the past is that we realise that we all live on the same planet. Our survival depends on each one of us. We need people who can see the global picture and not concentrate on just themselves.
Leaders of the future need to be able to face the global challenge. Today, we have a population that will reach nine billion in some years. We produce more plastic and throw them into rivers, seas and oceans.
Soon there will be more plastic than fish. We need to understand that there is not enough work for everyone, that we need to find other means for being able to purchase things, to pay for food, reduce waste, that electronic life can be used for more intelligent things than spreading rumours.
Next time we are invited to vote, we should remember that the principle of voting is that we want to protect our and the future generations, and in the absence of this understanding we will unfortunately all disappear.
By Saleh Miri
(The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author)