Today is an election day like no other, and I think many of us are feeling lots of different emotions today: exhaustion, hope, anxiety, apprehension–and that’s just for starters.
In this fraught moment, I could say lots of things, but I think all I want to offer is this prayer from To Bless the Space Between Us, by John O’Donohue. This is one of my go-to resources, when I know in my heart what I want to say, but can’t find the words.
So, for all those elected today: local officials, national representatives, and especially for the president, a prayer for you; and a prayer for all of us, too, we who are called to exercise leadership in whatever spaces and places we find ourselves, with whatever capacities we possess.
May things be different going forward. May we share more hope, and kindness. May we be better versions of ourselves.
“For a Leader”
May you have the grace and wisdom
To act kindly, learning
To distinguish between what is
Personal and what is not.
May you be hospitable to criticism.
May you never put yourself at the center of things.
May you act not from arrogance but out of service.
May you work on yourself,
Building up and refining the ways of your mind.
May those who work for you know
You see and respect them.
May you learn to cultivate the art of presence
In order to engage with those who meet you.
When someone fails or disappoints you,
May the graciousness with which you engage
Be their stairway to renewal and refinement.
May you treasure the gifts of the mind
Through reading and creative thinking
So that you continue as a servant of the frontier
Where the new will draw its enrichment from the old,
And you never become a functionary.
May you know the wisdom of deep listening,
The healing of wholesome words,
The encouragement of the appreciative gaze,
The decorum of held dignity,
The springtime edge of the bleak question.
May you have a mind that loves frontiers
So that you can evoke the bright fields
That lie beyond the view of the regular eye.
May you have a good friends
To mirror your blind spots.
May leadership be for you
A true adventure of growth.