President-elect Obama is facing some challenges that are
unprecedented in recent decades. As he prepares his transition
and selects his advisers, he will need two things to help the US
through the very tough days ahead.
The first thing he will need is leadership – the kind that calls
everyone to work together toward a higher goal, even if the
personal rewards are not evident. The kind of leadership that
Roosevelt had, the kind that Churchill had.
The second thing he needs is elder counsel. No one under 75 has
any real memory of the Great Depression, and few people under 70
have any recollection of World War II. As we look forward toward
a time when the world needs shared sacrifice to survive and
thrive, we would do well to hear the voices of those who have
lived through such times before. What worked and what didn’t?
What got people through from day to day? It’s not all in the
Elders don’t need to run the country, but they need a formal
advisory voice. Their wisdom and perspective has been sadly
lacking in our government, and many others as well. They need to
be volunteers, not those seeking political office or lobbying
Leadership and elder counsel. Obama has one. He needs the other.