Lessons Learned by One Man

In the short 47 years of my life, I have been committed to personal growth and learning. Even when experiencing bad times, I try and take a moment to reflect what it is teaching me. I learned a lot from contracting Covid. Testing is not as readily available as we have been lead to believe. Recovery is not a 10-14 day process. Kids are symptomatic and can spread the disease. People are not as supportive as you would think. Communities are fragmented by this tragedy of leadership.

I don’t expect anyone to understand my story. Frankly, in 2020, I am not sure I even expect anyone to care. However, the one thing I have held on to is that I am going to take everything I have learned and try to share it with others. I don’t want the struggles that I faced, and that my family faced, be a source of anxiety for others. If our experiences can create change for others, then it was worth the suffering.

A very naïve version of myself expected the same of the leader of the free world. His response to the pandemic until the point of his positive test was, well, luke warm. I won’t rehash this administration’s approach to the pandemic. When the Vice President was named the head of the task force, I knew we were in trouble. I live close enough to Indiana to know how he has handled health outbreaks as a “leader” in the past. Those of us in the mid-west have always appreciated his “thoughts and prayers”, but we expected a bit more after his boss tested positive.

At least I did. I remember my mind swirling after finding out Mr. Trump was Covid positive. Would this be the great humbling? The thing that softens the president? The moment that makes him bring us together as a nation to fight the virus and bring our economy back on track? A unified country working together to help each other? I saw this as the clearest and easiest path to re-election possibly ever handed to a candidate. Instead, he did the opposite. He continued to polarize the nation.

But quietly another voice emerged. The humbled voice of a man who learned from his mistake at the Rose Garden. A man who thought a visit to the White House would be safe. A man who didn’t wear a mask as vigilantly as he should have. A man who was hospitalized with Covid-19 and spent time in intensive care. Chris Christie is not a perfect man. What I do appreciate is his honesty and candor about his experience with the virus. He doesn’t place blame, he takes personal responsibility, and he vows to change. Mr. Christie is encouraging others to learn from his mistakes.

This is the highest form of leadership, to me. A man who can admit his faults, and make a change. In my darkest of hours with Covid, I wanted this so desperately from our president. A moment in time when he could drop the ego and lead. Stop with the pep rallies and vitriol and actually slow the hellscape that is our country in 2020. That is not the plan.

Because I am not getting what I need from my current leader, I am going to take a quote from our former Commander in Chief from October 21, 2020. “I am asking you to remember what this country can be. What it is like when we treat each other with respect and dignity. What it is like when our elected officials actually behave responsibly,” (former President) Obama said during an impassioned 30 minute speech at Lincoln Financial Field.

Behave responsibly. Respect and dignity. Common sense.

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