Madeliene Albrightwrote this column about Vaclav Havel, published Tuesday, 12/20/11 in the Washington Post. The entire column is worth reading; the Altantic Wire put it first on their list of the 5 best columns of the day. This is what really got my attention:
Havel, who died Sunday at age 75, never became fully comfortable with the exercise of political power. Through two terms as president, he maintained the psychology of the outsider, worrying about the effect holding high office could have on his own moral sense.
It makes me wonder:
Should we expect ALL leaders to think this way?
What we tend to have in leaders, it seems to me, is the desire to aggregate power. We see it in national politics, we see it in denominational politics.
In fact, we see the challenge even in relationships. One of the struggles that all of us uave who work with adolescents is fighting the desire to seek to control them. Usually, we tell ourselves, we seek this “for their own good.”
What might it mean for all of us to learn from Mr. Havel a concern for power affecting our moral sense? How might we maintain “the psychology of the outsider”?
I believe we find a good example of how to do this, not only in Vaclav Havel, but also in Jesus. He neither ran from power nor sought to aggregate it to himself.