A plea for leadership

[This was penned by my sister, who is also my business partner. I offered to post it on my blog because I agree it’s something that needs to be said.]

Dear Mr. President,

Many years ago, and two years after
I had been elected President by our Board,
Our company was facing hard times.
There was tremendous internal debate
About where our company should be headed.
Key employees were quitting.
One evening, as I was working late
With my head buried in the minutiae of a project,
A long time employee came to see me.
He had been with us through ups and downs
And cared deeply about the future of the company.
He asked me “Are you the President?”
“Yes” I replied. 
“What does a President do?” he asked. 
“Well, provide vision and leadership”
I said, really looking at him now.
“Then lead us!” he said, with all
The force of a heartfelt wish. 

I am writing to say to you
That I believe that we will get through
This current crisis of national will
If, as a nation, we can pull together.
A house divided against itself cannot stand.
This we well know.
History has proved this to be as true in the modern age
As it was in the time of Matthew
As it was in the time of Abigail Adams
As it was in the time of Abraham Lincoln.
In our hearts as Americans
We know what we need to do
In order to save this nation, and ourselves.
We must give up things.
We must study hard and work harder.
 We must sacrifice our desires
For the good of the needs of the future.
But Mr. President –
We are afraid.
We fear that we may have
Come too late to this realization.
We fear that our sacrifices may be in vain.
We fear that these sacrifices may be too painful.
We even fear to face these truths.
But, if we had someone to lead us
Out of the turmoil and mire
That our own greed has created;
If we had a leader who could show us
That our sacrifices were worth the pain,
Then –
We would follow that Leader to whatever end.
“Lead us!”

Hope is no longer enough.
Hope is only a promise of greatness.
We now need a President
With a bold vision and powerful speech
To proclaim the Truth.
Truth that is self evident:
Without the current generation
Sacrificing and changing our way of life,
Our future generations will suffer
An ignominious end.
We will as a nation slide slowly,
But surely, into irrelevance in the world.
“Lead us!”

The moment in history to make the change
Is now upon us.
It cannot be deferred.
And unless I and many others
Judged wrongly two years ago,
You are the leader who can
Take our nation to the place
It needs to go.
This raw frustration in the populace
Of Cities, Towns and Farmlands
Of America can be distilled into one phrase:
“Please lead us!”
(Do not be misled by trumped up political differences)

We know we need to change
But we need the clear clarion call.
We need the voice of reason
To spell it out for us
In words that we can all understand.
We do not, any of us, in our hearts or souls
Wish to see our country so divided.
Our people and our businesses need work.
Our Infrastructure and
Our Economic and Environmental Ecosystems
Are on the brink of collapse.
On the horizon,
We as a nation see
As perhaps the citizens of the Roman Empire saw,
The dark cloud of our self destruction
Born of fragmentation
We all understand this on a local level.
We need a leader to tell us
What to do to remedy it.
To illuminate the path for us.
Even if all politics is local,
We need one leader to focus our
Considerable energy in one direction.

On a local level, I am a wife and a mother,
A sister and a daughter.
On a community level, I am the owner of
A manufacturing business
And a member of a congregation.
On a national level, I am a citizen of
The United States of America
And I love my country with a
Fierceness of a mother bear
Defending her cubs.     
It matters little though, what
Protections I afford my family,
My business, my country or myself
If the very walls of the den are allowed
To collapse due to neglect.
“Please lead us!”

Be the Architect of our future.
We need a plan to keep us safe at home,
A plan to put food on our tables,
A plan to create domestic and global demand
For our goods and services,
A plan to once again elevate
Mathematics and science
To a place of value and honor.
Sixty years ago, we undertook a great building up
To create the best infrastructure in the world,
But now we have allowed ourselves
To think more as individuals
And less as Americans – and it shows.
It shows in crumbling bridges
And leaking water and sewer systems.
It shows in power outages and
In contamination of our water supply.
Why should I care if a man in Detroit is ill from
Drinking water that is unclean?
Why should a man in LA care if a
Bridge near my house has to be closed
Due to structural deficiency?
Why should I subdue my ego
For the good of the many?
Why?
Because this is the moment-
Our generation’s great decision to make.
We have elderly parents and
We have children in school.
Balanced between generations –
We should feel the burden
Of responsibility for this decision.
Do we continue selfishly as we have been,
Focusing on individual, local and statewide decision making,
Pulling slowly and inexorably apart
Until there is no nation, under God or any other?
Or do we come together
To form a more perfect union once again?
Lead us, so that we may choose wisely.
Lead us, and we will support you wholeheartedly.
“Please lead us!”

~ by Laura Kerckhoff

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