How does one pursue healing holistically in American politics? Today we’re outlining seven solutions for work in Congress and American politics Liberatus is offering our writers, subscribers and donors. But we need your help to continue publishing the weekly journal, to expand the writing team for 2017, and to continue building relationships with those working on the inside.
The Rio 2016 Paralympics begin today, and every American should know about one athlete in particular: Brad Snyder. As a Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal Officer in Afghanistan, he lost his eyesight in an explosion. One year later, he won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. What if in politics we were as fearless, as unconcerned with keeping up appearances, as willing to own our limitations?
When we say that Congress could be as inspiring as the Olympic Games, it’s not with the intent of overlooking imperfections in the International Olympic Committee, or the costs of hosting the games, or the human rights violations. But we can value both the inspiration of the games and the reforms to make them better. In politics, we can take responsibility for seemingly contradictory positions.
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown reveals a new story of freedom for American politics, if only we will choose to write it. Here’s to turning political communication, like Olympic rowing, into an art. Here’s to enduring the pain of speaking healing into political dysfunction.
At the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin—Hitler’s Olympics—Jesse Owens made history by winning four gold medals. In doing so, he provides a glimpse of what it looks like to overcome race, even though he faced racism at home and abroad. He shows us what a deeper knowledge of freedom can look like. He shows us how to overcome evil with good.
“The hardest part of winning gold was waking up the next morning and realizing you’re still the same person you were the day before.”
You may not know Herb Perez’s name, but to me, the 1992 Olympic gold medal Tae Kwon Do champion was a big deal. I admired him and other competitive martial artists you’ve never heard of because I competed, too.
Congress could be as inspiring as the Olympic Games. How do we approach our work in American politics the way an Olympic swimmer achieves excellence in the pool? Thankfully, we have insights from Bob Bowman, Team USA’s head swim coach and career-long coach to Michael Phelps, the greatest Olympian of all time. In The Golden Rules, Bob outlines what he calls the Method.
Last week, we looked at the theme of the London 2012 Olympic Games, “Inspire A Generation,” and tied to the theme for Rio: “Live Your Passion.” We continue the same topic this week, after concluding last week that living your passion requires you to come fully alive. A deeper look at what it means to live your passion would reshape work culture, communication, and personal well-being in politics.
The Olympics can give us a glimpse of what it means to be fully alive, especially if you see the athletes compete in person. The theme of London’s games was “inspire a generation,” and the theme of Rio 2016 is “live your passion.” I think the way to inspire a generation is to live your passion; this week and next, we’re taking a deeper look at both Olympic themes.