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  • Reverend James Squire

Who Ever Thought You Would Be A Politician

Updated: Feb 8, 2021


Photo by Srikanta H.V.

Whether we like it or not we are all politicians for politics is about distribution of power. Who has it? How do I keep it? How do I get it? In terms of everyday power found in our relationships with others we are either one up, one down, or equal to another. For example, when we go to see a doctor, we are in the one down position. When we are the know it all, we find ourselves in the on up position. The goal is to have relationships with shared power for they empower one another and move the relationship forward.

We should strive for relationships that are not transactional. We have heard over and over that Latin phrase, Quid Pro Quo, that means I will do this for you if you will do that for me.

Now let’s look at a variation of a transactional relationships that could translate to all of us entering more fully into the golden rule. Do unto others as you would like them to do for you.

A prominent politician of the 20th century was Tip O’neill, speaker of the House of Representatives, who coined a phrase that would be helpful to all of us making our way through life. “All politics is local.”

During one of Tip’s first political campaigns he realized that the woman who lived across the street from him when he was a boy did not vote for him in his campaign. He shoveled the snow off of her sidewalk every time that it snowed, and he did it for free. So with anger and curiosity he made his way to the woman’s house and asked, “Why didn’t you vote for me?” AS the story goes, she looked at Tip and said, “Everybody likes to be asked.” He had taken her for granted. That lesson played out each day of his political life as the key to his great success in politics.

So what is the difference of the golden rule/all politics is local and people who seek power over others in relationships with strings attached or transactions as the basis for the exchange.

When considering “All politics are local.” we are focusing on the relationship itself and NEVER TAKE FOR GRANTED the people that we are with. We look for shared experience. We MAY benefit from these relationships but the intent is shared power. No one likes to be taken for granted. It is not what you can get. It is what you can give. It is characterized by that expression that you “may be one person in the world but you may be the world to one person.”

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