The end game of leadership training in Congo is freedom.
This idea of “liberty and justice for all” we speak of in our pledge of allegiance hasn’t included people in our own country at all times, and it certainly hasn’t included Congo. I’ve addressed in earlier Congo Reflections posts the CIA meddling and even attempting assassinations in Congo. The arrogance of the idea that our military and covert ops ought to “protect our national interest” within the boundaries of other sovereign states is despicable to say the least.
But to focus on the positive: how does leadership training invite freedom in Congo?
Freedom, bravery and heroism are nebulous terms and the US Government, like most governments, control the message of those words. Facebook blew up in the past months with juxtapositions of (nee) Bruce Jenner against images of wounded warriors as examples of bravery. Jenner went through national criticism for the sake of his own comfort. But warriors themselves recognize that they serve a “national” interest driven by big government and (if possible, whenever possible) even bigger corporations.
This government, and these corporations, attract top level leaders, for whom money isn’t even the biggest attraction. It’s power. Power corrupts.
What is it to have a leadership style that lays down power and washes others’ feet instead? It is a leadership style that ultimately results in martyrdom, but its power ends up lasting much longer. Lumumba may have been, as I’ve mentioned, on his way to an absolute power, and who knows if it may have corrupted him? But I believe he was attempting to lead collaboratively – Congo for the Congolese, truly free from imperial influence. The cost was death. The Congo had a chance. The Congo deserves more chances at Liberty. The Congo needs leaders trained to give themselves up. An army of them. A horde. Not so that we invite them to die physically, though that may happen for some. But we invite a view of leadership that carries a vision of death to self. Death to self for a brother’s sake, Jesus said, was the greatest love a man could bear. That’s great leadership, and that frees the people. It is one of the greatest truths known to humanity.
This is truth that sets us free.
Help reverse the trend of imperialism and partner with my trip to Congo to train leaders here!