Sacrifice is a word no one seems to use or remember in these days of constant crisis. As the economic crisis deepens globally we are hearing predictions, remedies, blame, etc. but nothing about what it really takes to get out of it. Printing money and giving it away will not make our troubles go away. Political rhetoric is not a tool of real change. It is a tool of real talk.
What does it take?
Excess eventually demands sacrifice. To get out of this crisis will take the sacrificial commitment of all who are affected by it. It takes a national leader who can define the problem and point out the path to a solution. He must sacrifice his political agenda for the good of the nation and world. It takes the sacrifice of legislators who refuse to spend because they can. Their current example places them in perilous waters politically whether they know it or not. Ordinary citizens who bear the greater burdens of our nation’s woes will have to sacrifice their wants and desires for the austerity of a lower standard of living for the duration of the crisis.
Leaders define reality and outline a path for meeting the demands of the realities they face. We need more than photo ops. and speeches. Look us in the eye and tell us the truth: what you know and what you don’t. What you think and what you are considering. Call us to a higher and more personal commitment. Tell us in plain English what sacrifices we are going to have to make and what will happen when we do. Tell us how we really got here (and what part you played), where we are and where you are leading us. Really.
We will follow because we have no other choice. We will also follow becasuse we want to. Sensible people do not want anyone to fail. Our leaders in government, business, education, and in the faith communities need to lead. That gives change and hope some real meaning.