How Blanket Judgements Close Us Off to Our Potential
There's so much talk (and judgement!) at the moment about our political leaders; judgement that is usually negative, ranging from an outright 'unfit for office', to a lesser criticism of 'hasn't got much of a policy agenda'.
Until it Drops…
Earlier this week a politician I'd worked closely with for many years passed away suddenly. He'd retired from office although he was still active in public life, and he died while out cycling near his house.
I found myself deeply saddened by his death and it made me reflect on the quality of a person who'd dedicated his life to something he believed in.
I found myself thinking of him as a rare talent, always one to look at the right thing first and create the political way through that. He wasn't dimmed by failure, he never let political dogma overtake his humanness, he simply moved on with grace and humour.
We'd travelled together, plotting behind the scenes deals with other leaders; we'd parried back and forth on the ideas behind policy proposals, and I'd briefed and supported him in debates and committees.
I'd also seen him a little shaken after his first heart attack; realising that a certain pace of life came at a cost, one he wasn't willing to pay. He changed his lifestyle, and I know he had retirement in his eye from that point on.
Ultimately, he was a very human politician, a clever man and a kind one.
Emotion Is Personal; Potential Is Universal
When we lose someone we admire, it's a reminder of the potential in all of us. It's a reminder that our doubts and fears are as unreal and transitory as the dreams we have while we sleep.
To be human IS to fail. It is to get it wrong, to make mistakes, to make a fool of ourselves, to be less than perfect, and to pick ourselves up, shake ourselves off and continue to work for what we believe in.
My sadness will pass, but these human moments can be a reminder about how we're choosing to live; whether we're grabbing hold of the chances that are being offered to us, whether we respect life, respect others, and whether we're open to connecting with the humanity inside everyone.
It's good to take a moment to reflect sometimes.