During the Global Leadership Summit, politics tends to get pushed aside.  It’s mostly designed to bring about stronger leadership — within businesses, within churches with no regard to denominations, throughout the world — with a common goal.

It’s designed to try and bring about positive leadership, throughout the world.

For two years in a row now, our Wasatch Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church has served as Utah’s satellite host site for the summit — sponsored by the not-for-profit Willow Creek Association in Illinois.

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is shown on a large screen at the Wasatch Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church in Salt Lake City via satellite, speaking during the 2012 Global Leadership Summit. About 70,000 people have registered for the summit throughout North America. (Photo By John G. Miller)

During the opening of the 2012 Global Leadership Summit (GLS) Thursday morning, the key speaker was Condoleeza Rice — former Secretary of State under President George W. Bush.  During her speech, politics was still pushed aside.  In its place was talk of having compassion, dealing with disagreements through having civil discussions, and — ultimately — leading the way and working together to make the world a better place, one person at a time.

She did mention the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, early in the Bush presidency as she began her remarks.

“Every day after September 11 was like every day after that, you just pray and hope that it never happened again,” Rice said.  “Your concept of security changed forever.”

The economic shock of 2008 also deeply affected people’s sense of security.

A third shock, she added, came with the “Arab spring” last year.

“The Arab Spring reminded us that authoritarianism is not stable, and it can never be stable.”

We must realize that what we are seeing is the universality of freedom, Rice said.  Freedom is not the same thing as democracy, it does take institutionalization of those freedoms for democracy to take shape, she added.

“We ought to be patient with the people trying to make that journey,” Rice commented.

“A mature, stable democracy requires an understanding that democracy cannot stand under the tyranny of the majority.  The strong cannot exploit the weak.”

Every life is worthy, she said.  Every life is also capable of greatness, and we have an obligation as citizens to make sure the opportunity for individual greatness is there, Rice added.

“Act as if every life is worthy.  Compassion cannot be delivered to the AIDS worker in Africa … (or) delivering hope and shelter to a woman who has been trafficked in Asia” unless those who are working to help those people are filled with compassion themselves.

She also spoke on giving the chance for everyone to be educated, speaking to her own hard upbringing and that of her elders.

“If you are fortunate enough to lead, it is so worth it,” Rice said.  “We have done what we can to contribute to a world that is better. … Leadership is helping other people to see their own leadership qualities.”

The qualities of a leader, she said, include being an irrepressible optimist.  Rice spoke about how to remain optimistic in difficult times.

“You have to keep some perspective on how difficult those times really are,” she advised.  “Out of struggle very often comes victory.  When you are driven to your knees, you are driven to a deeper faith.”

The greatest source of strength is to make it through difficult times and to think of all those times when it was very dark that no one believed in you, Rice said.

“Somehow, the things that one day seemed impossible seem inevitable,” she added.  “Those outcomes were not inevitable, they were the result of deep faith and the work of people who sacrificed everything for a principle.  It’s possible through human agency and human action because they never accepted the world as it is.”

She concluded by saying, “Together we can make a difference, to make the world not as it is but to make a world as it should be.”

Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media


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