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1.21.2013

WAY ABOVE MY PAY GRADE


I saw a poignant picture recently.  It showed President Obama in a room in the white house, dressed in his dark suit and shiny shoes lightly leaning in a quasi- sitting position on the backside of a sofa while being briefed by a staffer about the Newton shootings.  The heaviness of that information was back dropped by this room, this building of enormous history. 

How many times in that room had a president wrestled with information that was shared with him?  If the walls could repeat the secret, tough or tragic words that have been spoken there.  I wondered too what it is like for any president to live under those circumstances.  How to find a balance between the absolute enormity and trust for the lives of others you have been given with a semblance of normalcy?

I once wrote a blog post about why I would never want to be President of the United States - what exempted me from it.  I get that we all have different passions, different things that purr or fuel our motors.  Is shuffled into that mix of passion also a bit of self-serving something or other no matter who we are or what the passion is?  Can our quest for those kinds of positions of power easily get muddied with ego, a not fully normal view of what it is to live life because of the constant privilege around us? 

Stress is an amazing thing.  My medical doctor always says stresses can be both amazingly good things and horrifically tough things as well.  Both can take a toll on us physically.  It seems we usually though view stress as the result of tough things.  Things that are similar to a never ending drum beat. 

Don't get me wrong, I am thankful to those out there with passion, and probably a bit of narcissism sometimes, that choose the path to the Presidency or high elected official posts.  Sometimes I benefit from their decisions, and sometimes I don't.  Either way, I do not envy their positions, their smothering weight of responsibility - their never ending due diligence to do a job with the right motive for the right end result that affects not just them or their family, but a nation. And, in our ever shrinking and connected world, what they do affects the stage of the world as well.  That kind of gravity of responsibility should make them profoundly humble.  Should:)

There are telling pictures taken through both republican and democrat presidencies that clearly show the gravity of the job upon the President.  Its weight and toll upon their hearts and minds I cannot begin to imagine.  Nor, the desire to live and operate in that environment can I wrap my, in comparison, very private and solitary life around.

I have to think that what they give up, in privacy and a normal way of life, they must more than get back in power and prestige, and probably passion.  Something would most definitely have to tip the scale to make me want to give up my typical No Shower Saturday or a run to Lowes in my ball cap. 

So whether I voted for any given sitting President or not, they have my respect for the bigness of the job they do and the life-altering way they have to live to do it.  I trust that if a President's "humanness of pride and power" rise to the occasion at times, they are able to see it and refocus.  They are, of course, human as we are.  We sometimes have to redirect our own wrong motives. Well, at least I do.

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