Where is today’s Messiah?

The task lies ahead of us to improve our society, our economy and our community by putting policies into place that benefit us all, and having a true leader at the forefront of this task is absolutely essential.

Weak, corrupt, disconnected or uncommitted leaders cannot design, promote and implement effective policies, and today more than ever we need a charismatic leader who will unite diverse groups and create a prosperous future as we emerge from the pandemic.

Today, more than ever, we need a Messiah. We need a man or woman who lives out the virtues they expect of the society they lead, and a person with a clear and purposive vision for the kind of post-pandemic life we all want to realise.

A chronic paucity of leaders whose charisma is matched by devotion to the public good plagues our political landscape, both domestically and globally. So here I’m asking – what must today’s Messiah be like? And what must they do?

It strikes me that the virtues of a true leader distinctly resemble the virtues of any strong and compassionate person. We want them to fight for us, the common people who are not embroiled in official politics, and – whenever necessary – to fight the systems and structures that divide us according to toxic identities, whether these be jingoistic and nationalist, class-based or gender stratified.

To be able to foster justice, equity and universal well-being, this leader must be transparently committed to the public interest, setting aside their personal and professional gain and pursuing policies and actions that prioritise the people they represent. This requires honesty, humility and integrity, and these – again – aren’t too far off what we expect of a good friend, lover or neighbour.

To admit when they need help, and to appeal to others better suited to making decisions in our interests – we also expect these qualities of a leader. Politicians with inflated egos and an unwillingness to learn from others, just like fathers, mothers, friends or colleagues who do the same, make poor decisions, shun their duty to care for others, and invariably succumb to corruption.

Society’s individuals at large are not culpable for a lack of change – they do possess the creativity and imagination to envision better ways of doing things. The greatest barrier to change is the effort by short-sighted political leaders who undermine even the hypothetical possibility of improved systems and structures. With the blind leading the disempowered, there’s little hope of meaningful change.

The Messiah for dealing with today’s complex problems – if they’re to come – will have to look deeply into the pain of our past. They will need to have the charisma and appeal to engage us all in an appraisal of the legal, political and economic systems that propagate institutional injustice. Through critical engagement with the failures of past and present systems of governance, the Messiah of today will help us heal these pains and open up new ways of organising power, protecting the vulnerable and fostering collective well-being.

We need significant adjustments to our priorities and values, and without a political Messiah to guide us in that process, a deficit in leadership will hold back progress indefinitely. With the right man or woman, who has the resources they need and the qualities of compassion, understanding and clarity of vision, we might just be able to achieve a fairer and more just post-pandemic future!