Friday, October 07, 2005

the wisdom of us

I wonder what the wisdom of this crowd is? Apparently the BBC had a fantasy world leader league and Nelson Mandela came out on top. Personally, I think that's great. Granted -- I don't know all that much about him, his politics, etc...but he did help end apartheid in South Africa and the whole reconciliation notion was brilliant so that's good in my book.

What was really striking to me though, was the number of business leaders (Gates, Jobs, Branson, Soros) on the list. I find this interesting, especially in light of the notion of trust (can you tell I'm on a big trust kick?)

What does it mean when people are more willing to trust business leaders than elected officials?

I think there's something inherently wrong with that. If people are more willing to trust business, is it any wonder why we have the seeming disengagement around policy and social issues? The work of elected officials seems to rank pretty low on the radar for most Americans, especially when you consider that there are tons of headlines about the latest with Jennifer Aniston, Britney or whoever.

Unfortunately, this lack of trust often seems to be well founded. Take a Bush's nepotism in appointing Michael Brown to direct FEMA, for example. Or a more local (Seattle) example, look at the amount of waste related to re-laying rails for transit. Is it any wonder why people are disillusioned with government officials?

I get the sense there's a strong lack of faith in elected officials (understandably, too) in posts like this. I say ok, you're disillusioned. Let's do something about it. It seems that with blogs, 43things, and countless of other tools (including offline, face to face meetings) we can really get something going here in terms of:
  • motivating
  • informing, educating, learning
  • connecting
  • inspiring
  • acting
  • acheiving
...something to change things we don't like. Again, I go back to that notion of showing up. If we don't show up, so to speak, those that do will call the shots. Us not showing up is in essence giving others free reign to make the decisions that impact us.

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