Try Putting Your Name On a Ballot
It takes serious courage to run for public office — no matter how much money and support a person may have.
The process can fairly be compared to opening in front of a live audience your college application letters or the email responses from agents and editors to your manuscript. Or to sitting in front a world-wide audience of a billion with a camera on your face while you wait to find out if you got the Oscar — and waiting in that moment for months or years.
One of my brothers, Harry Payne, has run for office nine times, won eight times. I've also been a reporter covering elections, then later a campaign volunteer. One way and another, I've watched close-up the winning and the losing. Every time, I'm reminded again of the emotional cost of sticking one's neck that far out. Even candidates whose politics are abhorrent to me have to go through that; and I admire them all for it (even if, in some cases, for little or nothing else.)
Some candidates have best shown their strengths in losing: John McCain was particularly graceful in that moment. So was Al Gore. And Jim Hunt, who served as governor of my state a bazillion times, never seemed to me more admirable than when he had to concede defeat in the US Senate campaign against Jesse Helms, an incumbent who badly needed defeating.
Tomorrow I think my candidate is going to win, which allows me to more easily feel generous rather than desperate. I sure hope I'm right, In any event, I have to say: I admire the gumption of all those who are willing to put themselves so publicly on the line.
Categories: enhancing creativity
Tags: courage, gumption, putting your name on a ballot, run for public office, strengths in losing