Sunday, January 08, 2006

Why Worry?

The news has been providing continuous updates on Ariel Sharon, prime minister of Israel, who suffered a massive stroke. Many have expressed concerns over potential consequences of Sharon's death or inability to resume the position of prime minister.

One article references a reason why Israelis may be concerned, noting that: "Israelis from all walks of life have lamented Sharon's likely departure from the political scene because, with his larger-than life persona and warrior credentials, Sharon was widely seen as the man most capable of untangling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Generally speaking, Americans are less concerned about the health of the president or other high ranking elected officials. We feel that we can worry less about who might take the place of a leader, because to some extent we trust the measures in place to check the power of our leaders. This is not the case in many other countries.

Many countries have relied heavily on their leaders to maintain stability, order, and peace. In doing so, they have sacrificed the autonomy that limited government provides. By allowing their leaders such a pivotal role, they have put all of the proverbial eggs in one basket. In the event that the leader is no longer able to rule, the people are left to wonder what will become of them. Who will provide them with stability? Who will make laws? Who will tell them the proper way to tie their shoes or which end of the egg to break?

Truly we can draw a valuable lesson from observing others worry over the fate of their leaders. Knowing that we can capably lead ourselves and ensuring that our leaders do not have the ability to destroy the work of others will allow us to worry less about who is in power, but rather worry about how much power we allow our leaders to have.

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