Allow me to confess something I’ve said sincerely and humbly in private circles. In order for our country to really be the land of the free and the home of the brave and a place we can each be proud to call “the beautiful,” we need wise leadership.
My faith is not in any one person. My faith is also not in any one party. No person is so capable and no party is so full of integrity.
My sense is simply as a country we would benefit immensely from wise leaders who are consistent in communicating what is good and right and true… who are men and women of unquestionable honor, who will adhere to the Constitution, who fully comprehend the issues, who work not to deflect all blame, and who will resist the urge to appease their party’s political fringe.
Let me be sincere but bolder still… For our leaders to lead wisely and well, we shouldn’t have to sacrifice either compassion or competency. With sincere, all due respect to our two most recent presidents, this obvious lack has hurt us.
I find myself wishing for the insight and wisdom of presidents past — imperfect still, as each of them were. But we can be encouraged and learn, for example, from the relationship between former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. As first published five years ago by Perri Konecky:
“Bill Clinton may have beaten George W. Bush’s father in the 1992 presidential election, but the two former presidents seemingly have a unique and fascinating friendship. During a forum at the George W. Bush Presidential Library on Thursday, July 13, the two discussed their bond… they discussed importance of unity and ‘humility’ in the Oval Office.”
[Intramuralist note: emphasis on unity and humility.]
“As for Clinton’s close friendship with Bush’s father, Bush said, ‘It starts with Bill Clinton being a person who refused to lord his victory over Dad. He was humble in victory, which is very important in dealing with other people. Dad was willing to rise above the political contest. It starts with the individual’s character and both men, in my judgment, displayed strong character.’
‘Why do I have a friendship with him?’ Bush asked of his bipartisan bromance with Clinton. ‘Well, he’s called a brother with a different mother’…
‘If you want to be president, realize it’s about the people, not about you,’ Clinton said. ‘You want to be able to say ‘things were better off when I quit, kids had a better future, things were coming together.’ A lot of these people who are real arrogant in office, they forget . . . . You don’t want to say, ‘God, look at all the people I beat.’
The men also referenced the advice former presidents pass down to their successors. George Bush Sr. gave Clinton advice about being the commander in chief, and Clinton did the same when George W. Bush was elected president after his two terms. Bush did the same for Barack Obama, which also explains the warm relationship Bush and Michelle Obama share.
The two reflected on the power of the presidency in their conversation. ‘The decisions you make have a monumental effect on people,’ Bush said. ‘Presidency is often defined by the unexpected. It makes the job interesting.’”
Oh, what we can learn from previous leadership…
Noting what’s important…
Humility. Strong character.
Knowing it’s about the totality of the people — not about the person or President.
How to handle the unexpected.
Not deflecting all blame.
Never sacrificing compassion nor competency. Ever. Making no excuses for one or the other.
Just pondering today, friends… always craving what’s better and more… what brings us together… and focusing on what’s good and right and true.