President Obama’s remarks Wednesday afternoon brought to mind my own experience with “Performance Review”. A six-month review for a highly demanding job with border-line unreasonable expectations was typically a swift and merciless accounting of my value add, much like that of our President’s performance at midterm.
I remember thinking that the air felt fresher and colors looked brighter as I walked back to my office, humbled, but thankful for a chance to do it better and bolder the next time around. Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with the ability to learn a hard lesson once.
In these days following the ‘shellacking”, I’ve come to realize it serves little long-term purpose to simply empathize with the President as he endures a long-winded, merciless reckoning of his own. I practice the adage of “being the change you want to see….”
I’ve committed my career to the non-profit sector and I’ve become quite good at moving hundreds of thousands of dollars from ‘the haves’ to the ‘have nots’ through strategic philanthropy. Yet, as a part of the collective progressive cause, it hasn’t yielded enough to be counted toward the pursuit of that elusive vision for social change.
Not since the woeful election of George W in 2000 have I awakened the morning after licking my gums to ensure all my teeth were still intact. This Wednesday came with a persistent hum of anxiety, loss and disappointment. In the aftermath of Obama’s public whipping, Post Traumatic Stress of Gore v Bush is creeping near. I’m reminded of what happens when we lack a collective will to simply stand up, be noticed and vote, vote, vote.
If we wait until 2012 to respond to the social and moral consequences of Republican Rule having its way with our vision for change, then expect that dread of waking up the first Wednesday in November 2000 and 2010 to revisit. Lessons unlearned.
Sheena Brown is a social entrepreneur who provides capacity building consultation to non-profit organizations. Sheena is sought after for her success with raising money, building effective boards of directors, and providing organizational development coaching to leaders of community-based organizations. Her clients are primarily led by and benefit communities of color, young people, and women.