I’m a sucker for stories of people doing hard things together for outcomes that enhance the lives of others, especially when they involves kids! During today’s update from Governor Holcomb and his team, I was inspired, and here’s why:
The press conference update included Governor Holcomb, Dr. Sullivan (Secretary, FSSA) and Dr. Box (Commissioner, Department of Health). Now, I don’t know the voting record or political party affiliation of Dr. Sullivan or Dr. Box, but I can make some guesses based on their professions and apparent ideologies, and it is highly unlikely that all three individuals hold the same political perspectives. And yet, all three individuals continue to treat each other with respect and work together as a unified team for the sake of those they serve.
Dr. Sullivan, along with a guest presenter, gave an amazing presentation on how to care for the mental health needs of those in our care, especially children, and she encouraged us to offer each other grace and assume others are carrying ACES beyond the current pandemic. She made no explicit reference to social media, but as someone who has backed away from Facebook for specific reasons this season, I imagine social media interactions were on her radar. When she finished, Governor Holcomb responded with nothing but respect, encouragement, and appreciation for the important work of both departments and the professional women in charge of them. We need more of this coming from the White House.
I am a split-ticket voter, and I used to think I was the odd man out, so to speak. However, while working on a friend’s campaign team last election cycle, I learned that split-ticket voting is much more common, at least in my county of residence, than I expected. (At this point in my life, I do not call myself a Republican or a Democrat, which could get sticky if I ever run for office. I already have my slogan – Leslie Draper, An Independent Woman. I think that 45 is a dangerous man who abuses his power and mistreats others habitually. I also think that Governor Holcomb is doing a really great job leading our State through a challenging season with statesmanship, diplomacy, and appreciation for all involved. But I digress…) Why is it that we are led to believe that split-ticket voting is an anomaly? I suspect that it has something to do with the old adage of “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” The loudest voices are the least complex and the most divisive. When something goes wrong amidst difficult circumstances, it’s easily explained by pointing a finger at the most convenient scapegoat. Whether it is someone on the left using language like “Governor Holcomb has messed up this whole situation,” or be it someone on the right saying, “This is all a conspiracy to get 45 out of office,” (they’d use his title, I know) it is enough to send me running the other direction. As a leader, I know that someone with such rhetoric will treat me similarly when the going gets tough or when we disagree.
I value diversity of perspective, and I am proud of our State Officials for each bringing their strengths, skills, and perspectives to the table to navigate this pandemic with dignity and respect. While it used to be assumed that officials speak to each other and those they serve with respect, 45 has taught us to appreciate what we used to take for granted, treating others respectfully. I appreciate those leading the State of Indiana through this time, and whether or not I agree with every decision or align politically with each official, I see them modeling how to treat each other with respect in the tough times and encouraging us to do the same. We need more of this! And if we aren’t strong enough to unify with those who are different from us to conquer hard things for ourselves alone, let us do it to reduce the anxiety and strain our children are facing during this season.