Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Stress of Politics

Last night, I witnessed something that made my wife wonder out loud why do I participate in politics at the level I do. She said that it is too stressful for her. I understand, based on what she has been privileged to, just being in my life.

I told her that it can be stressful and frustrating and even depressing, but the reward when you win an election or make public policy that has a positive impact on people's lives is worth the stress. See, there are people in Mississippi politics that want to be in politics because they need validation in their lives or are addicted to having some kind of power. Others are in because they think that politics is a financial treasure just waiting to be plundered. Serving the greater good is not their priority, although in a warped sort of way, they think it is.

In the long run, when you see the bigger picture, you cannot let those people deter you from reaching the higher mark. You have to press on if you want to improve the general welfare of your community while protecting each individual's rights. It is a delicate balance that needs your full attention. If you have delusions of riches and power or have self-esteem issues, you cannot be truly focused on what is best for your constituents.

There are sacrifices for that commitment, but when you think about the prophets of God, those sacrifices pale in comparison. To be in politics for the right reasons is a calling from God. When God is in the midst of your political endeavors, you will attain the wisdom and experience the vision needed to effectively and justly lead your people. You will make mistakes, but your faith in God will remove all reproach, even from your enemies.

The world is a cruel place and humans are fickle, but fixating on God takes away those distractions and guides you to a place of protection that allows for clear thought and sound judgement. The pettiness of Mississippi politics has ended many great political careers. Because my strength comes from a higher source, I will not be one of those casualties.

Whether I serve in elective office again or not, I will continue to fight for the citizens that need help, in spite of themselves. I will continue to support visionary people, no matter how much they have been maligned. I will continue pressing for that high mark, no matter how rough the journey.

I believe that if more people that had that understanding and commitment would get involved, then Mississippi, America and the world would be a better place and we will come closer to attaining that goal we recite every Sunday at our respective churches, "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven."