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Religion: Spirituality and Leadership - Assignment Example

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A leadership that is not informed by spirituality tends to be exploitive and oppressive. Although material prosperity is one of the aims of leadership, material success alone cannot guarantee human happiness and fulfilment in life…
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Religion: Spirituality and Leadership
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The Role of Spirituality in Leadership for Social Change Henry Mbae Habea Catholic of Eastern Africa Spirituality is a vital element of leadership. A leadership that is not informed by spirituality tends to be exploitive and oppressive. Although material prosperity is one of the aims of leadership, material success alone cannot guarantee human happiness and fulfilment in life. This is because human beings, besides, having need for material needs, they also have spiritual needs, which include the desire to live in harmony and co-operation with the other people. Hence, a good leader should not be egoistic, but he/she should be a selfless person, driven by some transcendent or spiritual values, for instance, the desire for people to live in peace, love and harmony. Spirituality, therefore, is a vital and indispensable element in good leadership.
The Role of Spirituality in Leadership for Social Change
A reflection on Yasuno’s article, The Role of Spirituality in Leadership for Social Change (2008), shows that, the goal of leadership, just like any other human endeavour, is to ensure that people live a happy and contented life. But what does a happy and fulfilled human life entail? Can advancement in Science and Technology, and the resultant increase in material goods guarantee human happiness? A careful and honest self introspection would reveal to us that, indeed we need much more than material goods for us to live happy and fulfilled lives. We aspire for some higher or spiritual needs. These higher needs include, relational needs, and the care and concern for the well-being of the other people. We all want to be well connected and in good harmony with the other people. A good leader, therefore, besides leading people to material prosperity, he/she should lead them, also, to spiritual fulfilment, i.e. to a life marked by, peace, love, unity, and a harmonious co-existence among different people.
This fact is one of the main striking points in this article by Yasuno(2008). In this article, Yasuno gives us a compelling argument that human beings happiness requires much more than just success in material goods . He argues that, although, there is nothing wrong with being materially successful, there are a number of disadvantages that come along with material success. These factors include: emergence of social classes in our societies, inequitable distribution of resources, domination of the poor by the rich, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. This observation is quite relevant in our world today, because as people continue to struggle more and more for material success, they quite often end up living a miserable life even after amassing a lot of wealth. This observation proves that we have some higher or spiritual needs that must be met if we are to live happy and contented lives.
Another salient point in this article is the claim that leadership based, solely, on egoism tends to be exploitive and oppressive. A look at many world dictators shows that their main driving force was their rather inflated egos that drove them to commit horrendous crimes against humanity. A good example of these dictators includes, Hitler, Sterling, and Mobutu of Congo. These leaders chief concern was to satisfy their otherwise insatiable egoistic needs without regard to common good of all people. Leaders of this kind tend to be very dangerous and instead of leading their citizens to true happiness, they make their peoples’ lives painful and unbearable. I find this observation quite pertinent in our world today because as we elect our leaders, it is important to look for the selfless leaders who are not driven by their self-centred needs.
On the contrary, there are a number of leaders in History, who rather than being lead by their egos, chose to follow what we may call transcendent drive, or the spirituality. Mother Teresa and Gandhi are good examples of this kind of leaders. These leaders put the common good of the people before their narrow, egoistic interests; they actually transcended their egoistic nature for some higher common good. They understood that human beings are truly happy when they live in harmony and are well connected with each other; they therefore, gave themselves up to the advancement of this valuable human need. This observation is of utmost importance in our world today, because from these kinds of leaders we get a role model of how leaders should be.
Finally, having agreed that good leadership is much more than leading people to material prosperity, it is important to conclude that, a good leader must, of necessity, be a selfless person, and a person who is ready and able to lead people to a higher human goal. A good leader should advocate for people to live in harmony and well-connected with each other. He/she should therefore be a person led by the spirituality, rather than the ego. He should be a person who puts the common good of the people before his personal good. Spirituality therefore is a crucial, actually the most important, element of leadership.
Yasuno, M.(6, 2008). The role of spirituality in leadership for social change. Spirituality in Higher
Education Newsletter, Vol.4(3), 1-8.Retrieved on, October 23, 2012.< http://search.> Read More
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