I want a leader that will inspire without anger.
I want to live in a world where disagreements are sparks for explorative conversations, where every side is willing to listen fully before formulating a retort, where there is space between words.
People are complicated. Politics makes people more complicated.
I want the space for complication to be okay. I want the space for the changing of minds, for the willingness to converse and to discuss and to examine the ways in which we have changed and the ways we haven’t.
I want a leader who knows her or his heart and who knows how to hear another’s heart. I want a leader who understands that hearts are wider than religion or race or gender, and also understands that experience is shaped by religion and race and gender.
I’m thinking in terms of government, but I don’t know that this type of leader can be found in government.
I hope it can, though it feels unsafe to question deeply in public forums. The anger is so much that the risk of posing a question begins to feel too great, and I see how questioning is met with condemnation by those who have made up their minds. We have grown so far apart that the meeting of “other” threatens our very existence. We have grown so far apart that “other” becomes anyone with a different soundbite.
I want to go beyond the soundbite. I want to sit and look at each other and hear each other and feel the way our words fumble like ice cubes in our mouths even as fire ignites in our bellies and screams up the narrow tunnels of our throats.
I want you to know that you are allowed this. This fire and ice. This knowing and questioning. This anger and love.
I want you to know that everyone is allowed this.
Anger has its place. Anger can trigger us to wake up. Its spark can create an opening to another way. If anger is the only way to shake your eyes open, then let them open, but know that what we do when we wake up matters. Wake up and root back in love.
I want a leader who will root themselves in love. The expansive, forgiving, rolling kind of love. The kind of love like air, like a breeze, like a gust of wind: willing to let us breathe, and willing to tug at our shirts when something needs to shift, and willing to blow our hats off when our haze becomes too thick, before calming into stillness again to let us be with ourselves and each other, stopped after the hurricane to meet the hearts of our neighbors.
I want a leader who knows that we all have this power of air and wind. That we all breathe every moment. That we all have this power to wake each other up.
Mostly, I want us all to know we have this power, and I want us to know we can use it with tenderness and care and deep, deep love.