Are you being a good ancestor?
Authenticity without accountability leads to anarchy
Authenticity – being true to oneself. It’s the buzzword of the Millennial generation.
We have watched the generation of our parents and grandparents forsake themselves and pledge allegiance to institutions and ideologies that have ultimately failed them.
We were raised on the stories of our ancestors of wars, holocausts, civil rights movements and inequalities. Iconic leaders of previous eras have died or are dying and the search for replacement leaders has, in some ways, stopped.
Amongst millennials, a new type of leadership is emerging, the ‘Anonymous Extraordinaries’, who grow up expecting to live socially responsible. Most of us do not possess the same thirst for blood our great, great grandparents had, but have developed a ‘collective conscience’ that seeks to enable freedom and equal opportunities everywhere, for everyone.
We don’t take orders to be, we just are true to our values.
We are living in great and challenging times.
A new rise in populism and the slow destabilisation of unions and treaties wrought of the back of WWII to ensure peace, leave us without clear accountability or political stability.
Power to the people has meant less inequality, which is an undeniable feat. But the majority has not been and will not always be right and we have already been privy to the perilous effects of ‘mob mentality’. So, who or what should regulate true democracy?
We are all responsible for creating cultures that raise leaders of integrity – not just educating some, but all. So that when we get together, we are collectively conscious and conscientious individuals, not a crowd swayed by emotions. We should no longer see certain individuals responsible for us all; instead we should recognize the leader in each of us.
We should understand that we are all accountable for what is happening with and to our fellow human beings and we should no longer turn our backs on one another.
Polio vaccine pioneer Dr. Jonas Salk asked a pertinent question in the 1950s: “Are we being good ancestors?” Because leaders understand that they are bridge builders, between the past and the future. We cannot only look after ourselves, we are accountable to those who have been and those to come. Authenticity without accountability leads to anarchy.
Our aim should never only be authenticity. Our aim should be altruism, because in the laying down of our rights and lives for the sake of others, we lead and serve humanity better.
What legacy are we leaving for those after us? What will the fruit of your authenticity be?
What will be said of your life, when you’re no longer here?