A fellow campaign aide walked outside to where I stood, outside the party on the paved patio beneath the night sky. I’ve never been a big fan of huge parties, and that night was no exception. The results were in; the aide handed me a glass of champagne. We were going to Washington.
What’s it all about? This week, as we conclude our series on A Desert Journey, our focus is on hope rising, on awakening. Read one congressional staffer’s short perspective today, look out for the announcement coming tomorrow, and our regular journal will continue Wednesday with A Story of Awakening.
The rules and values President Washington lived by established humility, respect, and other admirable traits we desire to see in leaders today. The values set forth during his time developing leadership would guide him through his presidency. As aspiring leaders, we should use this time to establish our own set of values, build up our character, and hone vital leadership skills.
Making your way up the Ryan Mountain trail, your mind will almost sink into the desert landscape stretching out in every direction. The contrast between the busy, crowded streets of Washington and the desolate emptiness is sure worth the cross-country flights it will take to find it. If you need space to let the earth clear your mind, you’ll find it in Joshua Tree National Park.
What can we learn from the tenacity of Martin Luther King? In the midst of those dark days, when nothing in the world seemed to match the vision in his heart, how did he inspire millions of Americans to persevere in their struggle to attain equality? Why are the bonds that tie us together as Americans being ripped apart today?
Much to my dismay, the process of finding fulfilling employment proved to be a grueling endeavor. The process of walking through a desert of difficulty challenged me to reevaluate the vision I brought to D.C., and to entertain the possibility that something more fulfilling and beautiful could be mine . . . if I was willing to wait for it.
We need to see that burnout isn’t actually burnout. What I mean is, it happens for a reason; it’s a symptom of much deeper and larger issues. The short of it is that—as I have seen firsthand over the past decade—the unity of Truth and Beauty in political culture is so rare that we need to begin building a new framework to rethink how we engage from the inside.