That’s my hand touching Bernie!! #feelthebern
I wish I would’ve had more time to invest in the Bernie Sanders campaign. At the time I was playing a balancing act between the side of me that worked as a marketing agency owner and the activist side of me that was dying to come out. I think many people have this struggle in their daily lives. How can we make a difference and make a living at the same time?
1. That’s the first lesson. If you have the opportunity to make some sacrifices to make a difference, do it. There are few windows in life to make an impact. It’s that moment when courage, opportunity, and stamina align perfectly and we are able to do something that really makes us feel whole. Watching Bernie, looking back at his life he made it his career to find those moments, to make them happen and to choose the right path most of the time. We have that opportunity, and few of us are perfect but when we think a choice is hard, think again. I learned I need to just do what feels right and that’s the only way I’ll sleep at night. I may have lost clients and money to this cause, but I am in privileged position being able to forego the extra funds to do what’s right. I’m sure when you choose to do what’s right, the rest will fall in line. I never ever again want to feel like I could’ve done more.
It’s that moment when courage, opportunity, and stamina align perfectly and we are able to do something that really makes us feel whole.
2. Another lesson I learned was to find like-minded people that could help me reenergize and work towards our common goals. I have always prided myself in looking at both sides of the argument, in playing the devil’s advocate in the room no matter what my personal beliefs are. I used to get close to people in spite of their beliefs, a way to stay open minded and improve my listening skills. I still think that keeps us honest and objective, but we need a safe space to come back to; a group of people in our lives that make us feel comfortable in our own skin. As we evolve, this may mean finding new groups of people that can provide this support, and we should be open in finding these people in our lives.
3. The most important lesson I learned from Bernie was compromise while staying the course. Bernie has had a long political career and in it he has had to work with people that land across a wide spectrum of beliefs. He has taken the back seat humbly and done things even his followers denounce. Following the “right” path (as we see it) is difficult, that village of people I spoke of can quickly turn on us when we don’t submit to group think and lay our real feelings to rest. I learned from Bernie that no matter how hard it is to pursue what we think is right the best way to do so is by meeting people that differ from us half way while being clear about our goals and beliefs. This is really difficult. It’s hard to stay the course when so much of the information we receive to help us make informed decisions is hard to fact check or research. We do the best we can with the information we’ve got and what we choose to believe. In the end it’s just important to move forward, to work towards what we believe in and never give up no matter how hard it gets.
We all have a roll to play to make the world a better place. Let’s try to find what unites us in that purpose and move forward.