Author and Columnist Lisa Bloom wrote an interesting column about Anthony Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin. One of her quotes stood tall and mighty:
“Some of us are trying to raise our girls to be more than voiceless partners sucking up their pride as their husbands trample over their dignity.”
Over the past several days, many political writers have espoused theories that Ms. Abedin suffers from the “Stockholm Syndrome” or she craves power.
But in reviewing this whole sordid situation, it’s all about leadership. Men who claim to be leaders have to do more than just show up. We are called to be whole, to be believable, to live with dignity, purpose and love. True love for another requires a discipline of character, to set a course of action that benefits those around you.
Not to bash the late Michael Jackson’s family, but the Jackson family claims the promoters are responsible for the actions of the doctor who administered a powerful anesthetic that killed the late singer. Seriously? As Lindsay Johns wrote several years ago:
“Are we so desperate for role models that we now need to trip and fawn over the coffin of a man whose rabid self-loathing and glaring psychological imbalances made headline news for decades?”
For me, you could group Anthony Weiner, John Edwards and Mark Sanford and Elliot Spizter, together. It’s ironic to note Spitzer’s campaign criticized Weiner by stating “…no husband would ask his wife and family to step into the media frenzy surrounding the campaign at this time.” What the hell? Yet Sanford made political news not only for reemerging in politics, but by winning. Again, “What the hell?”
The philosopher Seneca noted: “Noble examples stir us up to noble actions.” What would the reverse imply? Real leaders demonstrate personal integrity is balanced against the professional. A true leader shows the way by example. The Apostle Paul phrased it:
“If one is to have personal integrity, he must have a moral code by which he operates. He must acknowledge that certain things are right and others are wrong. Ultimate moral truths are inflexible; they are not situational. A leader must acknowledge moral responsibility, both in his words and in his walk (cf. Acts 1:1).”
There is a global crisis currently afflicting humanity. Simply put, it is a pervasive lack of moral leadership. We continuously uncover unethical behavior at all levels of society, from the family to the highest corridors of legislation. Sanford, Weiner, Spitzer, Edwards, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and many others are not true leaders and shouldn’t be accepted as such.
I concur on one point: life has all sorts of injustices. And some would argue that it is very difficult to live a moral life. The problem for Weiner and those like him is that it’s extremely difficult to provide leadership when three key orifices of your body spews the same message. For the rest of us, the problem is how can we live being part of the solution and not part of the problem.
A truer leadership model is one that unequivocally centers upon service to others. Real leadership releases the potential of the individual while safeguarding the well-being of others. Prophets, philosophers, philanthropists – truly great men whose lives have been a beacon to humanity and whose time on earth has served to elevate the human spirit – these are the real role models we should be craving.
Sanford, Weiner, Spitzer and Filner aren’t even close.
I respect Huma Abedin. She has a lot of fortitude and courage. She deserves better. So do all New Yorkers.