The hashtag #theleaderweneed has been going round lately in social media and elsewhere with netizens around the country, now that next year’s polls will soon be on the horizon. As expected, opinions regarding what a leader should be for the people have been thrown round, some tinged with political, becoming points of heated debate, some expressing being sick and tired of the circus that very much characterizes the past and current state of affairs in the country.

Indeed, in this age of technology and globalization, the role of a leader has evolved and morphed, from the formerly widely accepted image of someone taking charge, but from a distance into that of someone who is involved, approachable, solicitous, and with a feel for the welfare of the common people and genuine concern for the disadvantaged. The latter view is now the ideal, thanks to the shift in thinking brought about by modern times and the social ills that has gripped the nation for a long time.

In the country’s context, it is true that this often-neglected land is in need of leaders who fit the above description, and some, to be fair, have risen to the challenge, whose accomplishments towards the betterment of their people have left the rest of the nation sighing, “sana all”.

However, to be able to have the leaders that the country needs, an electorate that is well-informed, that thinks critically and that is more after of what they can contribute to the nation’s well-being instead of being after what it can give to them is a must. After all, it is their votes that have put their leaders in positions in the first place. Unfortunately, previous elections have shown that the voters have been amiss in their duty; the upcoming elections are another chance for them to make the best choices but it remains to be seen whether these choices will be made wisely. Given the way the people of the country think and behave, there is a long way for them to go before they can even become mindful enough to cast their votes wisely, without fear, without the aid of a few thousand pesos in exchange for their dignity.

Hence, the clamor should not be for #theleaderweneed, but more for the #thepeopleweneedtobe.


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