A lot of people don’t seem to understand that being a leader is one of the most (if not most) difficult job in the world. Politicians come face to face with reality and make decisions that require a considerable amount of courage and patience. Furthermore the majority of people would not be able to handle the heavy burden and pressure that comes with rulership. Growing up, I would always hear people (and still do now) throw their political opinions around as if they had every conclusion to every problem. In reality politics is a completely unpredictable different profession altogether.
In-between Theory and Practice
Politics isn’t something that can easily be theorized or understood in a logical way. A lot of people who study mathematics think (in a delusional way) that when it comes to politics 1 + 2 = 3. This can’t be further from the truth since leaders are dealing with people on a day to day basis. People are incredibly complex and its not easy to read everyone at the same time. Its not easy reading what someone desires deep in their hearts or how their mental health is or how they even feel about you.
As a result of the unpredictable nature of people as a whole this means that a sole reliance on logic won’t necessarily help you break down deep political problems. By understanding people to the best of your ability coupled by an understanding that the world is a difficult, harsh and unpredictable place only this will help you mentally prepare for life in politics. Whilst it is important, to understand the laws of power that have been written down and codified through books and commentaries of history to help you succeed as a politician, going over theory alone won’t help you improve as a leader. This is where the practical side comes in.
Practice is the key to success. By bringing yourself out of your comfort zone by putting yourself into difficult scenarios this is what will help you gain experience, promote maturity and self-growth. An understanding of theory alone won’t help you understand politics or become a strong reliable leader but by making difficult decisions and gaining actual on the job experience is they key that will make you truly understand this subject of political science.
However it should also be noted that some people only have practical experience behind them and no knowledge of theory at all. This is evident with sons of successful kings who were “born into the game”. These individuals have had experience from a young age and often times with heirs to famous kings they believe that they don’t need to study political theory at all because they have experience. This is dangerous because once they come into power they end up making terrible mistakes. Mistakes that could have been avoided had they sought out the wisdom of those who came before them.
Are All Politicians Evil Power Hungry People?
The society that we grew up in is a society that has always viewed politicians in a negative light. There are lots of jokes about “shady” politicians or how “politicians can’t be trusted” etc. This has become a societal norm. The intentions of politicians are often interpreted as people who make moves only for the sake of gaining more power. However, the reality of the situation is completely different. It is true that there are corrupt power hungry politicians but there are also other figures who really do want to make a positive change in the world. Unfortunately the latter are often misunderstood for the former. This is a problem that the global community need to address.
Should Politicians Be Given More Leeway?
This is a interesting question that is the main discussion of my entire article. Politicians are constantly in between two (or more) difficult decisions each having difficult repercussions. Yes you heard me, constantly in-between these decisions. A good example of this is the first Umayyad King Muawiyah I. Muawiyah (ra) was in-between two incredibly difficult decisions at the end of his life. Should he appoint his own son as the next King of the Muslim world or should he appoint someone from outside his own clan.
Both had deadly repercussions. If he chose the former this would be viewed by the Muslim world as an unprecedented controversial decision since the process of monarchy wasn’t yet established in the Muslim world. If he chose to appoint someone from outside the his clan, this might appease the Muslim world but it would also mean that his clan (who were the strongest most influential clan) would refuse to pledge to the new ruler and a civil war would be inevitable. He ended up choosing the former and remained someone who was trying to do the best thing he could in his heart.
However, most people don’t seem to understand that every politician faces the same dilemma that Muawiyah (ra) faced. Not in the sense that they are struggling to choose a successor but in the sense that they are constantly in the process of choosing between two (or more) difficult decisions and that whatever they do they will face criticism either way. So I hope anyone who is reading this does try to see things from the perspective of politicians in the future and that they try to understand that politics isn’t a 2 + 2 situation but rather something that is completely unpredictable and complicated.
Perhaps we as a society that voice our opinions regularly and regularly criticizes politicians quite a lot in the media and social media need to begin giving politicians more leeway or at least opening up the discussion on whether or not we should revisit our stance on politicians.
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