What does moral leadership mean to you?
Moral - when heard this word , what are you thinking ? I’m totally sure that every person has their own answer, and I am sure it will be positive senses. And then, if myself got asked about what I think about moral leadership , I would immediately come to the thought of three words : personality , assertiveness , and courage.
The leader is a person who was entrusted to lead . He has the power to influence and rule . In small scope , morality may not be a danger . But, what if people who has tremendous power to rule, lacking in morality ? History has proven that the absence of moral capable of destroying a nation and humanity .
I’ve heard people say, If many people that protesting corruption is only because they do not have the opportunity to participate. Having power is really tempting . Poverty may be just a small test to the morality, compared than when they have great authority . When we are poor we can be tempted to steal, if we do not have money to eat , but if we have the authority and the opportunity , there would be much more temptation to steal the rights of others to eat . And it is like a never ending loop.
We all know that morality is really an expensive item at this time . In this fast growing world, individuality comes in handy, religion is being taken away, and morality is abandoned somewhere. We might say that a person who do pick pocketing is immoral . And we might say that the person who stabbed a man’s stomach and left him to die is also immoral . The problem is, will we would feel immoral if other people doesn’t know our act or they also do the same things ? That would be the time when we can test how strong our personality is. Is morality just a hoax from our lips? So it can be easily be flown by the wind?.
I was born and living in Indonesia. And Indonesia, as a developing country, there are two extreme sides like a coin. In one side, there always be people that dying in a shack because of hunger, and the other side there always will be people who enjoying reading newspaper in the passenger seat of a marcedes benz. In a country that have two extreme side like that, moral degradation can’t be avoided. You’ll easily find jails that full of low class criminal, like robber,prostitute, and pickpocketers, and you also can find jails that full of high class criminal, like corruptor. Of course, it’s already common knowledge if in jail you’ll also will be treated differently, depends of the money you have.
Indonesia is colonized more than 350 years, if you take a peek in Indonesian History you’ll find if so many poor people at that time were forced to work really hard and must pay unreasonable tax for government. And the tax was often used by government people to enrich themselves. And we still found its bad inheritance in present goverment, country birocrachy, and even in country’s police.
Well, actually Indonesia have few leaders that demonstrate good performance in moral leadership. Like Mr. Joko widodo and Mr. Ahok, governor and deputy governor of Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. Maybe they are a good example of moral leader, because they are really concerned about public interest. They have a good politic career track, far from corruption issue, transparent with government expenses, and also coming out with good policy. Well, actually it can not be said their policy are brilliant or special. Their policy is actually simple but right on the problem, and the most important is they dare to stand alone when the critsm come and nobody in government support them. For example is when they were got protest because they want to get rid of hoodlum who take illegal tax to merchant in “Blok M” market, a famous market in Jakarta. They take risk to fight with some government people that actually issued as Blok M Market hoodlum’s protector. Also when they want to clean illegal settlement in the edge of Ciliwung, a big river in Jakarta, because they make a lot garbage pilled up in the river. Mr jokowi and Mr Ahok got big protest although they provided a free good apartement as substitute. It made me realize if being a moral leader need a big courage. They don’t need to be genius and have outstanding policy to be a good leader, no, Indonesia have so many brilliant people but they also didn’t do anything better. Indonesia is actually need government that assertive, listen to people, and dare to fight when they believe they are right. Being a moral leader means we must prepared because we can’t please everyone.
Moral is not talent. We don’t born with moral, we must study it from the others. From parents, from book, from our society. Moral is not an action, it is a habit. Repetitive habit become personality, and personality will not be easily destroyed or using excuses join with the flow. Bad society will mostly produce bad moral people. Good society will mostly produce good moral people. If we realize the degradation of moral in our society, and we want a change, we must realize one thing first : Human is social creature. Our act affect other people and our words influenced people. We often ended don’t do anything because we are scared and feel tiny, we feel our action cannot affect anything in society and then let ourself go by the flow. We must remember the living fish is not swim with the flow, it swims against the flow. And before we judging who are the one who make society bad , we must realize if we are a part of the society and evaluate ourself. If we do good things, we must believe if there will be people who will mimic our act.
I believe every people have potency to be a leader. The difference between every people is passion and the opportunity. Some people have the opportunity to lead others and some people have the opportunity to lead theirself. When we are being lead by a good leader, we must support him wholeheartedly. Being a moral leader is not easy, we also know it when we lead ourself. But if we don’t want our society to face the moral degradation, we can stop it by lead ourself first, to have a better moral personality. Like a quote says, its better to lit a candles than curse the darkness.
Dyah Norma Maharsi