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October 6, 2011

Transformational Leaders in a World at Peace

Nothing else in the world…not all the armies…is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.
-Victor Hugo


His Holiness, The Dalai Lama

To be a leader—to have leadership qualities—is a characteristic that people can generally recognize when they see it. When you think of a leader, what is the first quality that comes to mind…that she/he is powerful? Inspirational? A visionary for change? Courageous? Intelligent? Authentic? Has integrity? Competent? Lives by high moral standards? Ethical? Tolerant? Compassionate? The transformational leaders in the 21st Century will be focused on global peace, and to attain that golden goal, leaders will not be interested in having power over others. Instead, leaders will seek to inspire the cultures of the globe by practicing Ethical Leadership, making tolerance and respect among all societies the top priority. These leaders will help people learn to find the power within themselves so they will no longer fear their neighbors and instead build bridges of cooperation and trust. When a total commitment is made to tolerance and respect within each culture as well as among all societies, world peace will at last be achieved. The transformational leaders who emerge, whether within one of the hundreds of cultures around the world, or upon the world stage, will model the ethics, or standards, shared by all humankind–the first being to live in peace made possible through tolerance and respect for others. Great leaders will Walk the Walk.

The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation believes that among young people around the world today, there are many men and women for whom the vision of world peace is unquestioned as the only path forward. Dr. Tutu has said that “The young people of today are the best hope we have for transforming cultures of war and violence into cultures of peace and prosperity. By providing people, ages 15-25, with interactive and stimulating opportunities to learn about and embrace moral and ethical practices, they are more likely to engage in and foster the principles of non-violence, equality, compassion and integrity in their societies.” These leaders will reflect a kind of spiritual pragmatism where many spiritual concepts come together with the shared values of compassion, tolerance, respect, and love for all living things—and the belief in and support for global Peace. Together we can create a world that, while gloriously diverse, maintains a standard of living for all where no person will want for food, shelter, education, and dreams of a future that will be realized.

The new leaders coming of age now have among their role models Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, and His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, three of the most influential peacemakers the world has ever known. The great legacy of these extraordinary people will be the Ethical Leadership of each, which results in the end of war and violence, and transforms life on Earth as humanity reaches the Golden Goal of Global Peace.