What happens when the way we have always done things isn’t working? What happens when change is necessary but we seem stuck in a pattern? What happens when a situation needs a leader, or in this case, leaders?
Each year gun violence in schools is rising. There are more reported incidents of children being harmed in schools than ever before. There does not seem to be an end in sight. What happens now?
What has happened is that the kids stood up and said “Never Again” and lead the March for Our Lives.
It comes down to stepping up to accept the responsibility of leadership and that is just what the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida have done. They inspired over 800 sister marches in every state and on every continent except Antartica.
Accountable leaders inspire others to greatness, both individually and collectively. Leaders unite people for a common cause or goal and then light the way to their objective. Leaders believe in the people around them, their ability and their potential and then find a way to tap that goodness and reach that potential.
That is what is happening in the wake of the horrific event that happened in Parkland, Florida. The kids are taking on leadership roles. They are stepping up in an exciting way.
Accountable leadership is being responsible for others. These students have shared concern not only for those affected by gun violence in schools but also for others effected by gun violence. They showed concern for the over 5850 people who were shot and killed in Chicago since 2005 and shootings that have taken place in Los Angeles.
These students have stood up and spoken their heart. They are leading us to be better as a nation, just like the young people during the Civil Rights movement led us to be better as a nation. That is what leaders do. They help make us all better.
These young leaders are not taking an extreme stance. There are already extremes on both sides. They just want to be safe at school. These leaders just want to create a space where all youth can receive a good, safe education.
Standing up and being a leader takes courage. You don’t have to be a certain age to stand up and have a voice or lead but you do have to believe in something and believe in the possibilities of the people around you.
Leaders can come in any color, sex, religion, physical shape or age. These students have shown us that. We not only need to recognize the supreme leadership that these students have shown but be inspired to be better leaders ourselves, in our organizations, our communities and in our families.