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L. Guedes Arroyo: Leadership



While the world is burning due to the atrocities and persistent violations of human values, the people of our time—in spite of their spiritual and moral captivity—find themselves in the process of developing a new conscience for human beings to be able to overcome fear, ignorance, and isolation in the future. The necessary leadership to promote this process ought to consider the growing conscience of reality that men and women are obliged to confront permanently.

This type of leadership will undoubtedly be of a new spiritual and intellectual kind. It should widen horizons for people, where there will be room for potential rather than probabilities and where unity and diversity will be defined anew as simultaneous and necessary poles of the same essence.

This sort of leadership will have to be different because the context is different. So far, no civilization has had to face the challenge of scientific specialization, and this is why our answer should be a new one. Leaders will have to commit themselves in order to create a better world, where people's spiritual and moral needs—as well as those scientific and intellectual resources they have at their disposal for everyday life—will result in productive and creative harmony in humanity.

Knowledge should not focus on humankind and nature as opposite forces or reduce information to a new statistic order. Knowledge should be the means to free humanity from the destructive force of fear and to guide the way to the renaissance of faith and confidence in human beings.

We have to accept the responsibility that springs from the fact that individuals and society are complementary and interrelated, that slavery in any kind of totalitarianism has been broken by the universal wish to enable and conquer the authority of truth and the exaltation of human values.

The new leadership should examine the sometimes contradictory significance and application of what we refer to as democracy, freedom, justice, love, peace, and humanity. The aim of these values will be to remove any impediments blocking the way from setting the basis of a true history, not based on nation, race, or culture but on human beings in relation to themselves, their fellow men and the universe.

Beyond the present catastrophes, and on the basis of this dynamic period where a new conscience is emerging, the aim of this new type of leadership will consist of contributing to make the heart of truth beat more deeply and to respect the hopes and dreams of men and women towards a deeper comprehension of the basic values of all people. In this way, each one of us has a mission to fulfill.

Dr. Guedes Arroyo is a psychiatrist, educator and writer. He directs the Center of Education and Family Therapy in Argentina.