Tuesday, June 6, 2023
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My Opinion: Leaders Remain While the Rest Flee

Opinion | Leaders Stay, Others Run


In times of crisis, it is often the ordinary citizens who suffer the most. When natural disasters strike or wars break out, people are forced to flee their homes and seek refuge elsewhere. While refugees undoubtedly need our help and support, it is the people who stay behind that shape the fate of their countries. They are the ones who make decisions that will determine whether refugees will have a home to return to. In short, leaders stay, others run.

Why Leaders Should Stay

Leaders are responsible for the well-being of their people. They must be willing to put the needs of others before their own and stay, even when things get tough. Dr. Hiba Omer is a shining example of this. When war broke out unexpectedly in the streets of Khartoum, she refused to flee. Instead, she stayed behind to keep a hospital open and help treat patients. Even after receiving death threats, she continued to stay and fulfill her professional commitment.

Honorable leaders go down with the ship; they don’t slink off in a lifeboat while others suffer. When President Volodymyr Zelensky was offered the chance to leave Ukraine at the beginning of the Russian invasion, he refused. His response was “I need ammunition, not a ride,” which inspired his people and boosted morale. On the other hand, President Ashraf Ghani’s departure from Afghanistan showed an abdication of his leadership role. While no one can begrudge him the instinct of self-preservation, abandoning his people was an unforgivable act.

The Problem with Leaving

Today’s elites/citizens tend to have no ties to their homeland or national allegiances. Citizenship has become a commodity that can be purchased. When politics, the weather, or any other factor becomes uncomfortable, those with the resources can quickly book a ticket out. This act of self-preservation can be justified, but it is an abandonment of leadership that wealth and education once commanded. This broken bond between the globalized elite and the ordinary people they leave behind is one reason for the rise of populism across the globe.

Related Facts

– More than 5,000 Americans renounced their citizenship in 2016, with over 6,000 doing so in 2020. It’s unclear how many did this because of politics.
– More than three million American voters live abroad.
– Citizenship has become a commodity that can be purchased.

Key Takeaway

Leaders who stay committed to their people are the ones who can shape the fate of their countries. It is their professional and moral commitment to stay in times of crisis that inspires and motivates their people to fight and persevere. While leaving may seem like an easier choice, it is a failure of duty and a betrayal of the trust granted to one in a leadership position.


It is inspiring to see ordinary citizens, like Dr. Hiba Omer, stepping up and staying committed to their responsibilities as leaders in times of crisis. Such values and virtues should be emulated by all leaders, who must put the needs of others before their own. In this way, they can lead their people to a brighter and more prosperous future. Remember, leaders stay, others run.

Denk Liu
Denk Liuhttps://www.johmm.com
Denk Liu is an honest person who always tells it like it is. He's also very objective, seeing the situation for what it is and not getting wrapped up in emotion. He's a regular guy - witty and smart but not pretentious. He loves playing video games and watching action movies in his free time.

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