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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stand By Me

To get your vote, what one characteristic must a candidate for the highest office in the land exhibit? What second trait? Third? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 817).

My list of admirable traits include humility, a knack for knowing what is appropriate, patience and persistence.

The most important trait is humility because so many things flow from it. Of course, I'm not speaking of weakness but of humility. First, I look for the leader to see himself as a humble member of humanity—as a faithful child of God within the family of man. That is, the leader will see all other individuals as his equal and due respect on a fundamental level. Being humble means that one can laugh at oneself as readily as he can laugh at the foibles of others. Being humble also implies that one is able to focus on purpose and not let ones own ego or that of others get in the way of it. Being humble also means that one counts ones blessings and lives in gratitude and generosity. Last but perhaps most important of all, humility means one does not think that spin or authority is more operative than facts.

Second, the leader will have a ready sense of what is appropriate. This includes a reliable perspective based on ethics and practicality. It implies a sense of what is doable. This means that the leader will sometimes disappoint the purists who deplore compromise.

Thirdly, the leader will have two important character traits – he will have patience and persistence. These traits are strongly correlated with courage and conviction.

What I have not mentioned in the above list is the notion that I and the candidate must agree on policy. But actually desirable, effective policy will also arise from humility, respect, gratitude, generosity, appropriateness, timeliness, the realistically negotiable, persistence, courage and conviction. If a policy rings true on these points, then I will be greatly attracted to it.

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