When facing quick turnaround for decisions, leaders should act wisely.
While many students retreated from Main Campus to relax during spring break, it was a grim week for the rest of the world.
Political unrest trickled across the Middle East and North Africa. Escalating protests in Libya took another violent turn when Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s son threatened protestors with “rivers of blood,” as another revolt began to stir in Bahrain when three separate parties called to overrule the incumbent regime.
On March 11, beyond the reach of politics, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami alert across the Pacific Ocean. Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan told reporters on March 13 the tsunami was the most severe crisis since World War II.
The death toll currently stands at 1,627 as of Sunday with even more missing and new bodies being discovered, according to CNN, and the world awaits the possibility of a nuclear meltdown and possible radiation leaks at damaged nuclear plants.
Still, Kan was careful to point out that the future of Japan is dependent on the response to the crisis – advice that can be applied in trying situations all over the world, including in the United States.
From Wisconsin politicians weighing financial priorities in the midst of economic despair, to Temple administrators facing the steepest appropriation cut the university has seen as a state-related institution, decision makers should keep in mind that the easiest solution is not necessarily the wisest, and consequences to such decisions are not always immediately tangible.
As governments and organizations are forced to act quickly, they should do so with care and consideration while avoiding hasty decision-making.
As students keep those actions in their peripheral, they should not second-guess the power of their own perspective, voice and influence.
The recent overthrow of the Egyptian government rule should stand as a testament to individuals around the world: The rebirth of a nation can start from the ground up.
But it sometimes takes selfless actions from leaders to create a lasting difference.
“Today’s events remind us of just how fragile life can be,” President Barack Obama said in a March 11 press conference in response to the earthquake.
But as we are mindful of that fragility, we should also be reminded of humanity’s strength, without underestimating the extraordinary things we can accomplish under pressure.