American humility must be on display as domestic and global paradigms shift.
As we ponder the unusual economic, spiritual, and political changes occurring around the globe, we must certainly acknowledge that our world is undergoing permanent transformations with regard to world economies, faith and spirituality, social and cultural values, and political ideologies. There is a real and noticeable realignment occurring among economic and political systems, people of faith, and philanthropists, and it is leading to partnerships and alliances that are defined more around common values and missions rather than previously held organizational identities and affiliations.
The extant shifts will inevitably dismantle traditional and historical allegiances and categorizations as individuals and institutions respond to the new realities confronting nations and the constituencies within them. Global solutions are being initiated in response to both the needs of underserved groups and the interests of consumer groups which reside in lesser developed and highly industrialized countries.
Nations, governments, missionaries, nongovernmental organizations, and multinational firms that do business, service, charity, and other kinds of work across cultures and markets are adapting their strategies and plans to reflect what they are experiencing on the ground daily around the world.
The global shifts are strengthened by people and organizations that are demanding freedom, liberty, morality, and justice in the economic, political, and social spheres of life. There is a new spirit of engagement and activism that is bringing people together to fight back new threats of hatred, abuse, terror, and violence against citizens who have been marginalized in many places – namely women, children, the poor, and disenfranchised.
Americans must be careful to give thanks for the abiding prosperity that this country has enjoyed and the national prominence that has been built as an irrevocable legacy for generations to come. The permanent rearrangements that are occurring globally are a testament to the creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial spirit that is common to all of humanity and therefore transcends national boundaries.
Ironically, it is the American systems of democracy and free market capitalism that can take some credit for paving the way and setting a standard for the emerging and imminent world powers. Many are unfortunately viewing these transformations as largely a sign of our national failures and weaknesses in leadership.
Much of what we are witnessing was predictable and inevitable, considering the contexts of our national public policies and foreign policy priorities across many decades. Empires rise and fall, and power shifts have been a historical fact for centuries. To be sure, there are real and tangible risks and rewards associated with certain actors who will gain power and influence. Nevertheless, this was true over the past century and will continue to be true in the years ahead.
Our hopes and prayers must be that we as a nation exhibit humility and use wisdom in our relations with our fellow citizens and global neighbors. We must insist on a new kind of international cooperation and collaboration as well as global diplomacy that views every nation as integral to the strength of the whole and integrates each actor’s respective capabilities and greatness.