Typically I don’t talk about government issues here. It’s more of a matter of my position in the community. Also, I’m not in any particular favour of  one party over another, I look to the leaders and candidates representing me, and if I like what I see then they receive my vote.

I listen to and watch a lot of news about the government and the state of the world, and my wife and I often have in-depth conversations about what is happening around us. Given the state of everything, I feel the need to discuss government in their roles of leaders.

Everywhere I go, everywhere I look I hear about hard economic times.

From rural churches struggling to pay the bills to once strong nations struggling to pay the bills, and all levels in between.

Last night, CBC had a story about the financial hardships in small town USA. Yet another sad story about the state of our world.

This story isn’t just “out there” either. It hits us close to home here in Nova Scotia as well. Our government has realized we are hitting the wall financially and are trying to cut costs. Recently they asked the various provincial school boards (7 of them) to explore ways in which to cut their budgets by 22%. So each school board went off and discovered, that within the current system, the only way to cut 22% would be to slash teachers and schools.

The public reaction to this news has been shock and horror, understandably. We want what is best for our children. We want them to be well educated and prepared for whatever the world has in store for them when they graduate.

So, we continue watch the news as leaders fight with leaders over who controls the purse strings, budgets and programs, and who has the expertise in managing these things.

Here’s a thought: What if leaders actually led?

What if our leaders, who we have elected to lead and serve, decided to think outside of the box in order to save money and programs? What if they looked at the books and said, “Wow, my pension fund seems a little flush, but your’s is flat broke. Let’s see if we can balance this out some!”

What if, when asking people to make drastic cuts in their spending, they looked at their own compensation packages and said, “You know what, I think we can look at cutting back a few percentage points as well.”

What if our school boards and educational leaders thought outside the box and decided that maybe we don’t need to have 7 separate school boards with redundant work being done? What if instead of threatening strikes over wage increases they voted to accept a wage freeze for the next 5 years?

It all begins in leadership. If the leader says, “I’m willing to make personal sacrifices in order to make the drastic changes we need to make to begin balancing our budgets and exercising financial responsibility” then I can guarantee that leader will help bring about the changes required. If the leader leads by example, people will follow.

From a Christian perspective, this is how Jesus lived. Jesus continually sacrificed food, comfort, sleep, finances all in order to do his work. In fact, he even sacrificed his life for us.

So how about it leaders? Anyone willing to take the first step? Your peers won’t be happy about it, but your followers, your supporters, the people who put you there, will be ecstatic and that, my friend, will keep you leading for a very long time.