Embracing the Next Four Years
As we prepare to welcome the 45th President of the United States on Friday, I am relieved that one of the most challenging campaigns has ended, nostalgic as we say farewell to the Obama family, and hopeful that the incoming president will exceed all of our expectations. That said, there is an overwhelming juxtaposition of emotions fueling this inauguration. Whether you’re a conservative or liberal, nonpartisan, or just plain hate politics, let us remember how important OUR role is in the future of this nation as we commence the next four years of leadership.
Embody respect for yourself and others
In an interview with Oprah, Michelle Obama stated that,
“No matter how we felt going into it, it is important for the health of this nation that we support the commander in chief,” she said. “This is what’s best for the country. So, we are going to be there for the next president and do whatever we have to do to make sure that he is successful. Because if he succeeds, we all succeed.”
Throughout this election season, malicious words and hateful crimes have become a present reality, brutally dividing our country. Underneath it all, we are one nation striving to enact the common values espoused by our founders many years ago. As citizens, we have to help ensure that the next president is successful in achieving this; in recognizing the needs of the people to advance the safety, equality, and liberty of all Americans. I am not suggesting that we blindly follow lead, but that we support the overarching vision and values of America, and do what we can to get to there. Assume that others are doing the best they can given the circumstances. Instead of waiting for others to earn our respect, set the standard.
Advocate for yourself
Every good intention needs action or it becomes nothing. We need to work for these values. We must appropriately educate ourselves, and then use our voice with respect for ourselves and others. When the world sends a storm of hate, we must calm it in love. Regardless of what the world is telling us, we cannot abandon our values; we have to challenge the norm or things will never change. In a world where kindness and compassion are counter cultural, we must choose to care. Just as Dr. Seuss said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Recognize our common humanity
“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Regardless of what is happening, we can choose to empower a different outcome. Witness the remarkable capacity that we have to love and act on it. Recognize that we are all distinctly human and striving for justice, opportunity, liberty, equity, and possibility. We want for ourselves and for others to be treated as the human beings we all are. We all have to set this standard; to serve others for the sake of our brothers, sisters, and future generations.
It’s fitting that today is the day we recognize Martin Luther King, Jr., as he said it best, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
So, as we face change, we must remember to stick to our values and strive to better ourselves, the country, and the world. We must enact the hope we have in this nation and this next generation of leadership. To accomplish this, we must align our actions with our intentions and respectfully voice our vision for the future. If we want maturity, we must be mature. Choose to move forward, choose to see the good. Play your role, do your part, lead with love.
In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr., let us all remember “The time is always ripe to do right.”
Share something positive that you’d like to achieve in the next four years!
No matter what it is that we hope to achieve, it is important to consider all three elements of success: Results, Process, and Relationships.
Results: Concern about getting things done, the outcome, success, final product.
Process: The way in which results are achieved, steps necessary to get the results, how decisions are made.
Relationships: The way in which people interact and are treated.
More often than not people tend to focus only on Results, disregarding the Process and sacrificing Relationships. In order to achieve true success, it is important to consider all three elements and how the three are connected or not connected to each other.
- First, define what success means or looks like for you, or your group. What is your ideal vision?
- Ask yourself, How do I determine if my Results are successful?
- What is our Process? What makes an effective process?
- And lastly, How do we build Relationships?
Once you have answered all of these questions, discuss how each element is related to each other, or not. Use the Venn Diagram pictured above to help you visualize. Then, you can prioritize, plan and manage the work you need to do in order to achieve your definition of success.
*Meet the Author*
Kati Simpson is a student at Chapman University. She is a travel enthusiast, coffee fanatic and NFL fan, but mostly a firm believer in the irreplaceable value of human connection.