In the great span of world history, nearly all change and progress has come from an under-served and out-of-power group pushing, prodding, and pounding on those who hold power to expand it to include a wider and more diverse population.
Unfortunately, nearly every time, those in power don’t have the foresight or humility to expand the circles without this external threat.
As a white male Christian in America, I am part of a dwindling subset that has held the levers of power politically and economically in nearly every field for the entire history of the United States.
And though my Irish Catholic ancestors had to push to get a seat at the table, we are still a part of this dominant power group. Yes, the halls of power have slowly let in some people of color, women, people of a different faith, and people of a different sexual persuasion. But white male Christians still dominate the rooms where most decisions are made.
This must change in a much more dramatic way.
Instead of waiting for the diverse population of America to keep pushing and prodding, I would humbly suggest that we as white male Christians take it upon ourselves to step back and give more people who don’t look like us access to the levers of power.
We don’t have to wait, and our country is in desperate need of more diverse leaders. It is that diverse leadership which will not only represent more of what America looks like today, but it will give us the opportunity to find solutions which homogenous models of leadership aren’t able to.
Yes, let me repeat, we as white male Christians should do what real leadership demands and practice a level of humility which demonstrates strength by stepping back from the center of the room and begin to give up our seats at the table.
We should make this move not because we feel threatened, but because we know it is morally right and it is what would help America in this troubling time. The best leaders and change makers make themselves dispensable. And that is what me and my fellow white male Christians must do more often.
We don’t need to be the CEO of nearly every major company in America. We don’t need to be the majority of the people who hold political power. We don’t need to be President. We don’t need to be a Supreme Court Justice. We don’t need to be the ones who dominate conversations and run the meetings.
Let us let others step in to fill that power vacuum.
I myself can do a much better job of this in both my personal and professional life. I don’t need to take the seat on the board of a company or a non-profit if others equally talented are standing by. I don’t need to always speak up or try to run meetings I happen to be in. I should interrupt less, and let others from diverse backgrounds share their thoughts.
Yes, we all have a purpose in this wonderful mysterious life, and our mission calls us to do that which is calling us in our hearts and souls. Maybe part of that mission as white male Christians is to practice real leadership by letting others step up while we step back.
We shouldn’t wait to be shoved or “toppled”, and we should even extend a hand and say “it’s your turn, take my place.”
As I have watched the last week of disruption and drama in Washington, a major part of this could have been avoided if white male Christians had more readily stepped back, and turned over leadership to those who are not the same sex, or the same color, or the same religion as us.
I for one am excited at the prospect of seeing how a whole different group of people will lead and make our country and the Earth a better place.
Let’s do this, guys. Let’s put the country first and our fellow humans ahead of our own egos. Let’s do this not out of a sense of insecurity that we are losing a hold on power, but out of a sense of security that others not like us can do the job better than we can at this time.
The greatest demonstration of strength is putting someone else ahead of ourselves. Let’s show we are that strong.