Sunday, November 23, 2014

Politicians Need To Find Courage - Political Leaders Resistant To Change

Most politicians need a lesson in courage, they must stop kowtowing to political leadership and follow their hearts. Most get involved in the political process for the right reasons. Most want change that will benefit their constituents. The problems start when they get to Washington D.C. and the party leaders prey on their weakness. They begin horse trading their votes for the "good of the party," sacrificing their integrity and ultimately their courage.  It is a slick process that virtually all politicians get caught up in. If they don't play by the rules they are frozen out of important decision, committee memberships and ultimately funding for their reelection. Courage, perseverance and determination got them to Washington and and they must maintain those virtues if they are going to be judged as exceptional. 

An Example of Corrupt Party Politics
The Tea Party exhibited courage when they threatened the status quo and challenged the republican leadership. The Tea Party was attacked by republicans, they were undermined at every turn not by democrats but by those that claimed to have the same values. Just imagine a small group infiltrating the party saying that we must stop the out of control spending.  Their own party felt threatened and the democrats and the media were all to willing to pile on, calling them extreme, radicals and even Nazis. When in fact the Tea Party were mostly older Americans that wanted spending curtailed. Political leaders simply said to the Tea Party, not only will you not get a seat at the table but we are putting you on the menu!

Courage is something that everybody wants — an attribute of good character that makes us worthy of respect. From the Bible to fairy tales; ancient myths to Hollywood movies,our culture is rich with exemplary tales of bravery and self-sacrifice for the greater good. From the cowardly lion in The Wizard of Oz who finds the courage to face the witch, to David battling Goliath in the Bible, to Star Wars and Harry Potter, children are raised on a diet of heroic and inspirational tales.
Yet courage is not just physical bravery. History books tell colorful tales of social activists, such as Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, who chose to speak out against injustice at great personal risk. Entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs and Walt Disney, who took financial risks to follow theirdreams and innovate are like modern-day knights, exemplifying the rewards and public accolades that courage can bring. There are different types of courage, ranging from physical  strength and endurance to mental stamina and innovation. The below quotes demonstrate six different ways in which we define courage.Which are most relevant to you? In the last section, i present an exercise to help you define and harness your own courage.

1.  Feeling Fear Yet Choosing to Act

“Bran thought about it. 'Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?' 'That is the only time a man can be brave,' his father told him.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
Fear and courage are brothers. — Proverb
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear — Nelson Mandela
There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid. — L.Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Being terrified but going ahead and doing what must be done—that's courage. The one who feels no fear is a fool, and the one who lets fear rule him is a coward. ― Piers Anthony
Courage is about doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared. Have the courage to act instead of react." — Oliver Wendell Holmes

2. Following Your Heart 

“Passion is what drives us crazy, what makes us do extraordinary things, to discover, to challenge ourselves. Passion is and should always be the heart of courage.” ― Midori Komatsu
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” — Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement speech, June 2005
To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.
 — Soren Kierkegaard
“It takes courage ... to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” ― Marianne Williamson, "Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of 'A Course in Miracles'"
 2. Persevering in the Face of Adversity
When we are afraid we ought not to occupy ourselves with endeavoring to prove that there is no danger, but in strengthening ourselves to go on in spite of the danger. — Mark Rutherford
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)
Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them — Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924)
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the   day that says I'll try again tomorrow. — Mary Anne Radmacher
“Go back?" he thought. "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!" So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
“It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.” — Mark Twain

4. Standing Up For What Is Right

Sometimes standing against evil is more important than defeating it. The greatest heroes stand because it is right to do so, not because they believe they will walk away with their lives. Such selfless courage is a victory in itself ― N.D. Wilson, Dandelion Fire
Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes — Maggie Kuhn, Social Activist
From caring comes courage. — Lao Tzu
Anger is the prelude to courage. ― Eric Hoffer

5. Expanding Your Horizons; Letting Go of the Familiar

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. — Lord Chesterfield
“This world demands the qualities of youth; not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of theappetite for adventure over the life of ease.” ― Robert F. Kennedy
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. — Anais Nin

6. Facing Suffering  With Dignity or Faith...

 “There is no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bear witness that a man has the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.” — Frank
The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances. — Aristotle
Until the day of his death, no man can be sure of his courage. — Jean Anoulh
A man of courage is also full of faith. — Marcus Tullius Cicero

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