On the day of Nikki Haley’s announced that she would be resigning at the end of the year as US ambassador to the United Nations, I started googling videos and news stories. I may not have always agreed with all of her political views, but I have been very aware and downright amazed at her diplomacy skills. One of the videos I viewed really struck a chord with me, where she was talking about her parents. I’ve since looked for this video and have been unable to find it. Nikki spoke about how one day after school she came home crying to her Mom, because she didn’t look like all the other kids, she was so different. Her mother then, in her wisdom said, “It’s not your job to find out how you are different, but to show them where you are similar.” That really struck me because of who Nikki is today and what an impact that made on her.
(For those who don’t really follow politics and do not know who Nikki Haley is currently the US Ambassador to the United Nations. She was the first female governor of South Carolina and the second Indian-American to serve as a United States governor.)
I started thinking about Nikki’s video while I was reading Brene Brown’s book Dare to Lead about empathy and connecting on pg 160. Brene says, “Remember, empathy is the most powerful connecting and trust building tool that we have, and it’s the antidote to shame… Empathy creates a hostile environment for shame – an environment it can’t survive in, because shame needs you to believe you’re alone and it’s just you.”
There are times when speaking our mind and voicing our opinions is appropriate. One of the book’s biggest take aways is that clear is kind, and clear is unkind. Although, especially in the political climate of divisiveness right now, just because you can doesn’t always mean you should. If you’re speaking up for a cause and for your side to be heard, I get it. Boy, do I get it. However there is a wedge that is being created in this country not from people not sharing their views, but how they go about it. Through shame, name calling, and empathy is out the window. Then anger sets in, more name calling, blaming, and fuel is only added to the fire.
What if we had more empathy for each other? Not just as Republicans and Democrats or wherever your political party aligns, but as human beings. As Americans. As neighbors. What if instead of coming at each other from the hard edge of where we are different, we took Nikki’s Mom’s advice and found out where we are similar? Why wait for politicians to be the example? Why not start on social media as “We the people”?
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Oh, and it’s Tuesday make sure you vote!
Vigilant Poster Girl
Read along with us Dare to Lead!