Day 346: Alongside

Today, we had a speaker come and speak to our company for our women’s initiative; she was a former senator from Arkansas, the youngest female senator to ever take office and the first female on the Agricultural Committee in its over 100-year history. Some of the group who put the event together and a few executive team members had lunch with the senator before the event, and she was a delight to listen to. She talked nearly non-stop for 90 minutes before we even went in to the auditorium for the presentation. I really could have listened to her great stories for a couple hours more.

Her talk to the group was rather matter-of-fact. I could tell the audience was engaged, and inspired by her common-sense way of speaking. For a while, though, she could have been writing this blog, talking about the old days of politics, where it didn’t matter which side of the fence someone’s belief system rested on. She spoke often of the need to get to know others and hear where they’re coming from. It used to be easier, she said, for members of Congress to be neighbors and friends, barbecue on the weekends, and then collaborate as much as possible on initiatives during the week, for the betterment of all.

She said that today’s media creates a huge disconnect in politics because today, when someone votes one way or another, the media has taken a position either for or against the topic, and then reports it before a politician has the ability to drive down the road to talk with constituents one-on-one to explain why a vote was either good or bad. That pre-emptive nature of media is positive in that it allows immediate “knowledge” of what’s happening, but it is negative in that the old way of connecting and communicating is all but gone.

Of course, I can’t write everything she spoke about,  but she did really touch a soft spot in me when she said that our journey is not just arriving at the top of the mountain, having reached our goal. The joy is in the journey up the mountain, she said, coming up besides others who are there fighting just as diligently to reach a goal. For it’s in traveling alongside others on that journey, and in cultivating friendships, that makes the goal worthwhile.

She was a #FindingKindreds kind of politician, one I’m sure I would have been able to collaborate with, had I been a member of Congress with her. She even made politics seem interesting to me, no small task.

DAY 346 HOMEWORK: You can agree to disagree with someones, and yet cultivate friendships.Find joy in the journey towards the goals. That will be our goal.



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