What I Learned from President Obama
by Christina Lieske
Christina is one of my writing friends. I really like what she has to say in this article about learning.
Visit her at https://christinalieske.wordpress.com
This will be short, but it is about one of the most important things I’ll ever learn in life…
Several years ago, I made a judgment about President Obama: I decided I didn’t like him, or his ideas. What happened over a very short period of time was that I shut out his voice. If he was on television, I changed the channel. If there was an article about him online, I went to a different page. In fact, I had so convinced myself that nothing he said was going to please me, that I never really listened to him again (with the exception of a couple of times for major events).
The reality is, that I never really gave him much of a chance. Surely, with the multitudes of decisions he’s made and things he’s done there would have been a few I could have agreed with! Sadly, my quick judgment about him made me never see those things until about a month ago…
For some reason I decided to watch a short video clip of our President speaking to a group of people about their situation in this country. I don’t know why I decided to watch it, but the result was a wake-up call in my life: He was right! What was astounding to me was that I had actually found the one thing I could agree with him on. Convinced this was not only a miracle, but also a one-time event, I proceeded to click on the next few video clips I came across that featured President Obama. No one could have been more surprised and shocked by the fact that I thought he was likeable and made sense!
This is the life-lesson I took from the event: No matter how much we disagree with someone, no matter how diametrically opposed our view-points are, it is in everyone’s best interest to allow the other person a voice and give them a chance to ‘argue their case’, if you will.
The truth is, insecure people shut others out and don’t let them speak. There are many things I could have learned in the last seven and a half years. If nothing else, I could have substantiated my opinions against certain policies and viewpoints. Instead, I chose to close my ears and eyes and remain ignorant.
Since then, I have proceeded to add books to my reading list and purposely read articles by people I think I disagree with completely.
Life is an adventure and it only stays interesting if we continue to learn new things, even if that is to confirm our stance, but even more so if we are able to see a situation through someone else’s eyes and learn why they believe what they do. There is no victory in always being right, because no one always is. The victory is in making progress and always being a student.