Let’s go back to the basics to build a brighter future.
I care about what kind of example I am setting not only for my children, but everyone’s.
On Saturday, November 9th after several days of wondering and anxiety, the Associated Press reported our 46th president would be Joe Biden after he secured 273 electoral votes*. It was late morning; my two high school aged children were still in bed. I ran down the hall and breathlessly announced that Biden had won. They both mumbled under their covers, non-pulssed, but I knew what this meant for them.
We would have a President who valued civility, facts and empathy—and lived them.
As a politician today, I care about what kind of example I am setting not only for my children, but everyone’s. It’s important to lead with compassion and heart. I want my decisions made today to have a positive impact tomorrow. For me, my election certificate is not about jurisdiction and power, but about trust.
Because ethics and good character matter. Telling the truth matters. Being kind matters. Having good sportsmanship matters. These virtues are not owned by any one political party, they are owned by all of humanity and are the critical life values we teach our kids.
The 2020 Election has me anxious about how we as a nation, as a state and as our backyard communities will respond to the results. As a county commissioner who represents people and not a party, I have put much thought into what I can and should do to forward civility, respect and unity.
I chose to not address the President-Elect results on my public digital platforms. Not because I’m not personally happy about the outcome, but because I recognize there is great divide right now fueled by high emotions. While I wasn’t an elected official in 2016, that too was a highly emotional election. I distinctly remember the heartache that I felt of being attached to the outcome as well as the sadness from the blatant celebration of others. I concluded that touting my personal response publicly in 2020 would not forward unity.
As some political leaders become more sensational and we slog through what is seeming to already be a difficult and contentious transition period, it can be easy to come unanchored from our core values and reason, to instead be swept up in the drama. I ask us all to think about how we can move towards one another—even a little bit—and go back to the basics. Something as simple as smiling and showing kindness to someone who does not agree with you can be a starting point to heal.
My teenaged kids are nearly grown. I have limited time for what I can teach them about the world. I tend to emphasize how the influence of their own abilities will affect the world, rather than accepting that they will be at the mercy of it.
Because we are all powerful leaders. No one needs an election certificate or microphone to bring change in the world. We as mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors can choose to live out the building blocks we teach our children and create a better tomorrow.
Ethics and good character matter. Telling the truth matters. Being kind matters. Having good sportsmanship matters.
It all matters.
Read my previous blog about politics HERE.
Read my next blog about politics HERE.
* It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
Mandy Meisner is the Anoka County Commissioner for District 4 (Fridley, Columbia Heights, Hilltop and part of Spring Lake Park). District 4 is the most diverse district in Anoka County. You can connect with Mandy on Facebook.
This blog is not an official communication of Anoka County, and does not represent the opinion of anyone else on the Anoka County Board, Anoka County staff, or any other body Commissioner Meisner serves on.
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