In case you haven't noticed, the world is different now. Nothing is, or ever will be, the same as it was before. Human actions have changed the earth's climate, terrorism has changed geopolitics, the Internet has changed communication and commerce, economic globalization has changed the boundaries between state and corporation, international transportation has changed the dispersal patterns of disease. These new realities are difficult to understand and accept, but we need to put aside our old ways, and adopt (and adapt to) new ways.
Old style leaders using old ways of thinking aren't what we need. Their time is over; their ideas and methods don't work anymore and are actually doing more harm than good. We know this; it's in the news every morning, it's the topic of our conversations every day.
Who will our new leaders be? Who actually understands the new realities of the world? Who can articulate the new realities in ways that help us understand and accept them? Who has the ability to translate this awareness into new paradigms for moving ahead and thriving in a new world?
In the USA we already have a number of announced candidates for President (even though the election is almost 2 years away!). I look at this field of politicians and see mostly people who are part of the old way, and by their statements and positions let me know that they can only think in that old mind set. Those who are closest to my particular politics say things that sound good, use the right buzz words and phrases, and identify the right issues, but it really all sounds the same, and I've heard it all before. I'm actually hoping that Senator Obama, because of his age and not-yet-solidified connections to the old politics, might be the candidate who breaks away from the old paradigms and presents us with a new set for a different world.
I honestly don't have a lot of hope that things will change in this world the way I know they need to change. This lack of hope is based on experience - after all, U.S. voters elected George W. Bush not once, but twice! Elections aren't based on reality, they're based on hype and spin, and who does it best. I hope someone surprises me this time around.