A greater democracy emerges when people in unlimited numbers become leaders, cross borders, and cooperate with each other. Now is the time to nurture, as Lawrence Hillman suggests, a “society of kings.” This means reliance on and confidence in ordinary people who by the thousands and millions, are taking “kingly leadership” and cooperating together for the common good.
People are moving away from looking to presidents, priests, executives, and heroes to solve global problems, do justice, control resources, and make history for the rest of us. Of course, traditional leaders are not going away – but they are being joined and challenged by new waves of leaders. Critical needs and people’s initiatives plus access to global communication are creating these conditions.
Look around and find these folks yourself. Mountain climbers from different religions summited Everest to proclaim peace among religions; folks in Hendersonville, North Carolina, established a Peace Academy to teach townspeople how to deal with difference constructively; women and young adults by the millions are taking to the streets to march for their civil rights. The list goes on…
Paul Hawken in his book, Blessed Unrest, estimates over 1 million non-profit organizations are focused on creating a more just and healthy planet. The number of people involved is staggering! It’s not new that ordinary people, citizens of every country, are undertaking acts of leadership and achieving change. What is new is that they are growing in number, using collective power, trusting the aggregate of their tiny pushes, and gaining confidence.
In his book, The People, Yes! Carl Sandburg hinted at this emerging force many years ago. “The people,” said a farmer’s wife in a Minnesota country store while her husband was buying a posthole digger, “The people”, she went on, “will stick around and last a long time. The people run the works, only they don’t know it yet – you wait and see.”