By Orre Lula
Politics is still new to the majority of us in the Burji nation. We are yet to understand how to play it and remain one united family.
In the world of politics, there are constructive politics and destructive politics. Similarly, there are constructive leaders/politicians and destructive leaders or politicians.
Either knowingly or unknowingly, we are playing destructive politics without knowing its consequences to the Burji nation in the future.
Join me as I dissect the differences between politicians’ constructive and destructive acts regarding the Burji nations’ politics and political perspectives.
Who is a Politician? And who is a Leader?
According to the Oxford dictionary, a politician is a person who is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of an elected office.
A leader, on the other hand, leads or commands a group, organization, or country.
To understand this, we must ask ourselves what makes a politician/leader constructive or destructive?
Differences Between A Constructive and Destructive Politician/Leader
Unity of Purpose
A constructive leader sees the unity of the Burji nation as a strength. They see the unity of the Burji nation as a threat to their supremacy.
Constructive leaders advocate for unity (d’ekkooma). They love the existence of peace and harmony within their community regardless of their political ideology or stands.
They desist from belittling their political opponents or the supporters of their political opponents.
They avoid using destructive political tools and strategies, which leaves their opponents and their supporters destitute.
They play healthy politics with a lot of maturities and usually win voters’ submission without harm.
Destructive leaders crave disunity politics based on either place of origin, tribe, religion, or any tactics such a Qebeleism that will impair unity.
They will do anything and go to any extent to conspire to divide the community as long as their political ambitions and benefits are secure.
Differences of Opinion
When a constructive leader disagrees with your ideas, they criticize the idea constructively and recommend alternatives. Destructive leaders often oppose ideas or issues without valid reason or without providing alternatives.
The interest of the Masses Vs. Self-Interest
Constructive politicians/leaders place the interest of the masses first because they see better tomorrow for all of us.
Destructive ones stick to their self-interest at the expense of the masses. Once they have amassed wealth through politics, anything else is a non-issue to them.
A Better Tomorrow
Constructive leaders believe that today’s decision determines tomorrow’s prosperity. They will never knowingly exchange tomorrow’s better vision for today’s chicken feeds.
On the other hand, destructive leaders believe in the ancient philosophy of naturalism, in that they adopt the phrase, “what you see is what you get.”
In short, today is their limit, and they don’t care about tomorrow. They are hell-bent on rational egoism; that is; an action is rational if, and only if, it maximizes their self-interest.
Empowerment of Others
Constructive leaders see political leadership as the key to Burji Nations’ door of prosperity. They open doors for the success of the younger generation through good political will.
They support the younger generation in seeking opportunities either in the county and national government, parastatals, private entities, or non-government organizations.
On the other hand, destructive leaders see the younger generation with higher formal education as a threat to their positions.
To them, political leadership is just a conduit for amassing wealth by themselves or through their proxies or cohorts.
They thus create obstacles in the path of the younger generation instead of empowering them.
Thus, goes the Burji saying, “Malashi siitadina, bagaduhu kokkeedi murannii;” loosely translated as, “the plan kills, the weapon (spear only does the act (slits throat).
Constructive leaders dislike code naming of the community members for political, social, or economic gains against their opponents.
Destructive leaders believe in “if you want to kill a dog, give it a bad name.” They like to code name people to score political, social, or economic points.
They don’t care about the amount of destruction they are causing to the families, friends, and younger generations so long as they achieve their selfish benefits.
Fire in The Belly
Constructive leaders have a “fire in their belly,” that is, they have thirsty for the growth and development of the Burji nation, unlike the Destructive leaders who do not care.
I conclude by saying, “A person who is always looking up at the sky will never discover anything on the ground.”
Let us look around us and look at the ground; the ground needs constructive politicians/leaders’.
The ground needs unity of purpose; the ground needs us, the ground needs us to have one voice, the ground lacks a center, and we are the center bolt.
It is me and you, not others, don’t point fingers.
Finally, Albert Einstein said, “speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the university president.”
Be kind and respectful. Play politics of non-harm, and be a leader/politician who is non-harm.
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