DOHA (MindaNews / 17 September) — The most awaited Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (BSKE) elections in the Philippines are scheduled to take place on 30 October 2023, Monday. It is the day of exercising the fundamental right of every registered voter that empowers them to choose responsible leaders of tomorrow, leaders who will truly serve the people.
Consequently, it is incumbent upon every registered voter to go out and exercise freely this right via casting the invaluable vote.
“Voting not only enables the citizens to vote for political parties, but it also helps them to realize the importance of citizenship. Many people do not vote thinking one vote will not make a change, but as a matter of fact, it does. A nation’s political foundations are built using elections.” – says Everett Vasquez
Notwithstanding, everyone is a leader but only a selected few are a great leader. When we choose the person in this forthcoming poll to lead us all the way, we must not choose him/her, with all due respect, because we were given money beforehand. Instead, we must choose him/her simply because he/she possesses the qualifications of being an unprejudiced and trustworthy leader for us.
Certainly, our society needs leaders who are capable of addressing numerous societal dilemmas in a swift way as possible and who can turn his/her words into adequate action in materializing his/her political agenda for the well-being of the people and society; not who only knows how to deceive people through flowery words that only entertain the ears of the public; a leader who has the sense of unifying and driving force for success.
Moreover, good leaders are responsive to the needs of those they lead. They adjust their behavior to best match the situation. They listen to their team; they value their team, and that’s the people who put them to their position.
However, it is woeful to note that in this contemporary era, ‘some’ leaders merely recognize the people during the course of their campaign period. But, when they successfully win the polls, they are reckless to their sworn mandates and responsibilities towards the people.
It should have been, when anyone yearns for an elective post and eventually win, he/she must bear in mind that ‘through sickness and in health’—as the saying goes, he/she must decisively execute the responsibilities that have been placed upon him/her because he/she is the vicegerent of the people.
Laudably, there are still leaders who possess the true spirit of being an unprejudiced and trustworthy leader.
In an Islamic perspective, leadership is an ‘amanah’ or trust, and the Muslim leader must be trustworthy. In many of Ahadith, the Prophet Muhammad (sallaAllaahu alaihi wa sallam) has directly and indirectly explained the leadership qualities and the importance of leadership. In fact, one of his Ahadith, the Prophet Muhammad (sallaAllaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Each of you is a shepherd, and all of you are responsible for your flocks.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim).
Additionally, from among the seven persons whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade is a ‘just ruler’.
“Leadership in Islam is as profound as the intrinsic concept of Khilafa-Amanah; Each of us is a vicegerent, a steward, a shepherd of our flock but most of all such stewardship involves trust; A leader must believe and have faith in Allah and Islam is his/her comprehensive way of life; thus, is grateful and prayerful to Allah; A leader has a makhmun heart which is imbued with sincerity; A leader must have ilm and hikmah: knowledge and wisdom; courage and determination; A leader practices mutual consultation and fortifies unity; A leader consults the Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunnah; A leader practices good morality and piety; A leader possesses excellent communication skills; A leader upholds justice with love and compassion lillaahi; A leader practices beautiful patience based on resilience; A leader has lifetime commitment and faith to sacrifice lillaahi.” — Warina Sushil A. Jukuy posted on her Facebook wall.
Nevertheless, in order that we may achieve our ultimate goals of having a high morale society, everyone must help hand-in-hand and we must all do what we can, now. We must not just rely on our leaders for everything. This is absolutely a collaborative effort that everyone must take part in.
I perfectly resonate to what American author Matthew Lesko has said that: “Good government only happens when people working in it do their jobs, and do them well.” Indeed, union is strength.
We all yearn for positive changes to happen in our community, but we must always remember that even Allah wouldn’t change our situation if we ourselves will not change.
Should everyone be doing this, in shaa Allah, we can have a good if not best community. This is only a basic thing that everyone can easily do on their own, but can bring positive impact.
To conclude, allow me to share these words of wisdom: “Indeed, leadership (change) starts on one’s own self and at one’s own home and family.” – says Warina Sushil A. Jukuy.
(Mindanawon Abroad is MindaNews’ effort to link up with Mindanawons overseas who would like to share their experiences in their adopted countries. Gamson Jr Mawallil Quijano of Sulu is a registered Radiologic Technologist who works in Doha, Qatar).