This is the second in a series of blogs throughout September and October!
The Mindset of this Politician
I recall being elected to my first term of Council in 2014. I was on a new road, a new adventure, a new chapter in my life! Running for Council was something I never would have considered twenty years ago! What changed my mind? Did I grow thicker skin, become more brave or confident? Following or watching Council years ago left me with the impression that more often than not, a Councillor could never get a clear break! That's because you can never please everybody most of the time. A colleague once said that you get sworn in the first day of a new term and you get sworn at for the next four years! It's not really that bad, but I am sure you get my point. For me, I think it was about feeling more confident in making decisions and formulating plans and being more accepting to critique or even of criticism. I wanted to be a voice in the community. I wanted to make a difference. I threw my hat in the ring!
In a Christmas address in December of 2016 I wrote about worrying too much about what people think and struggled with criticism. No one really likes criticism unless it comes in the form of a critique. One should be open to comment and suggestions. Cruel and unfounded criticism is after all, vile. It's easy to forget about your accomplishments when you're shot down. However, life's experiences have a way of teaching us, helping us to mature and become more wise.
I worked as a mobile disk jockey playing for weddings, Christmas parties and various other occasions over a sixteen-year span and there were always a few who were critical of my selection, but while they were complaining the dance floor was full with guests having a wonderful time. As long as the majority of people were pleased, I thought I had to be doing something right. And there was the secret, relying on the fact that as "long as the majority" were pleased. I could count each happy guest as a plus, and as long as I could manage more pluses than minuses the job was prosperous and successful. Likewise in life, it is a good idea to keep this in mind. While it may be safe to "stay in bed" and dodge the minuses, one never achieves the pluses. There is no gain - no accomplishment! I love what Albert Einstein had to say, “A ship is always safe at the shore - but that is not what it is built for.”
Moving forward we should remember to count the pluses in all that we do and have, and not the minuses. I had been confident I could bring many pluses to the table. Albert Einstein also said, “What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.” Keeping this in mind I knew that if I approached this position with honesty, commitment, and a sense of what is right and wrong and I could sleep at night, I knew this was doable. It was time for me to unfasten the moorings and sail the sea!