"The Most Important Title is Citizen"
Some of us are feeling saddened, terrified, lost. We don't know what to expect of the next 4 years with "the leader of the free world" being so astonishingly different than anyone who has ever held this office before. We don't know how to gain insight or thoughtful perspective from a two-word answer to increased hate-language in our cities and schools. "Stop it" somehow just doesn't adequately address our fears and deep concerns for where our beloved country is headed. We know that we need more than "sound-bite" leadership.
It has been a time-honored tradition of our country's people to look to our president for comfort in frightening times. Who are we going to be able to count on for this, going forward? Maybe we find ourselves in what feels like a chillingly helpless position.
But what does democracy mean, anyway? Have we placed so much importance and reliance on the office at "the top" that we have forgotten what our very important roles are in this democracy? True, it has been so much more motivating to have a president who can feel our sorrows, address our fears, and comfort and calm us. And to many it feels like we are doomed without such a leader. But when we sit ourselves down and face the challenge before us with a slight shift in perspective that brings us back to our founding principles, we can begin to let it sink in how much these words mean:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
When President Obama spoke in Greece, during his last trip abroad while holding the office of president, he reminded us that "the most important title is citizen" in a democracy. It is an important reminder as well as a crucial call to action, if we are to move forward with hope and vision for a country that we so love.
We Are More Powerful Together
I Respect the Office Too Much
What do we do with the statements that some have made and will continue to make regarding respecting the president? Those who are pleased with the election outcome have been known to demand that those who are not, respect their choice. Their right to make their choice must be heartily respected, but in no way is anyone required to respect their choice.
They may not understand or accept that many respect the office too much to respect someone they see as unqualified occupying it. Respect must be earned, it cannot be brought about by demands. Will we move ahead more effectively in our own lives if we take the action that WE can take, and determine to not focus so frantically on what will become of our country based on the power of one man? It is possible to effect meaningful change, with a purposeful shift in focus. What we focus on expands, just as the time-honored proverb states, "as you think, so shall you be."
How Are You Coping?
Be an Everyday Hero
Maybe we've gotten complacent. Maybe we've put too much faith in what one man (or hopefully one day woman) can or should do for our country. It takes a coalition of kindness to make a country kind. One person alone cannot possibly make America kind again. And one person cannot destroy America's kindness. We must link arms, join forces to create a kindness-filled country. We must pool efforts to create such a world.
Dr. Marla Gottschalk, in her article, "How a Leader's Behavior Affects Team Members," gives huge clues into why millions of Americans are feeling a VOID right now:
The HERO resources:
- Hope. A belief in the ability to persevere toward goals and find paths to reach them.
- Efficacy. The confidence that one can put forth the effort to affect outcomes.
- Resilience. The ability to bounce back in the face of adversity or failure.
- Optimism. A generally positive view of work and the potential of success.
These attributes are key to being a successful business leader. If we are not seeing these "H.E.R.O." qualities in someone we are trying to accept is going to be our nation's leader, it is understandably cause for concern. Dr. Gottchalk's article was written for the everyday average workplace. How much more should we expect these attributes in "the leader of the free world?" Dr. Gottschalk goes on to explain that:
Positivity in the workplace can become somewhat contagious!
It stands to reason that some might have concerns that racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, and bullying might become "somewhat contagious" as well.
So what can those who have been horrified by the characteristics that they've seen proudly displayed by one who has won the presidency, do with their real concerns?
Some of us have signed petitions, hoping against hope that "this cup shall pass from us," while others might be tempted to slump into what could be a long 4-year winter of deep depression. How can we possibly keep kindness alive if a leader, supposedly there to represent us, seems to be devoid of it?
We must. We do have better choices than utter despair, and we, as a country, have never settled for utter despair before.
Healing the World
Keep Kindness Alive Through Courageous Love
A compassion-free president does not equal a compassion-free country. And who knows, just MAYBE our powerful kindness will have a positive effect on our government's leaders too!
It is time for us to step up and be the heroes that we need. Whatever comes in the next 4 years, we will comfort each other. We will find hope and direction in our children's eyes. We will fight for what's right for their futures. We will find more courage, because we must.
Now is not the time to run or hide. Now is the time to decide.
This past Sunday after the election, I was deeply inspired by the message from a loving minister, Gretchen Haley, of Foothills Unitarian Church in Northern Colorado. She challenges us to "unleash courageous love," as reflected in the church's mission statement. It is the only responsible decision we can make. It's the only one that will move us forward as a country and as human beings. Reverend Haley reminds us that we must decide that we will be the heroes that our country so poignantly needs at "a time such as this." Esther 4:14
I cannot think of a better call to action than to Unleash Courageous Love. It is a compelling mission statement and a fiercely healing mission. We are truly all in this together. We all have unfathomable power for good. And never forget the words of that wonderful hero, Ben Parker: "with great power comes great responsibility." Your courageous love is needed now, more than ever.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
Your Kind Comments
Heaven L Burkes (author) from The Invincible Heart of Neverland on November 21, 2016:
Thank you, brave, bravewarrior. Much love to you, lightbringer, as always! xo
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on November 21, 2016:
We've pulled together in the past to overcome obstacles. Now is the time to show our strength as a people once again.
Beautiful song, Heaven!
Heaven L Burkes (author) from The Invincible Heart of Neverland on November 17, 2016:
Thank you, sir! And thank you for always having been part of "The Kindness Coalition." :)
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 17, 2016: