I Was Encouraged to Run
I’ve been reflecting the past 24 hours on what’s led me to this point and the reason I’m running for Sedgwick County Clerk. I have come to one simple conclusion. Putting all other considerations aside, someone simply encouraged me to. This makes me wonder, who are the people in your life that encourage you? More importantly, what moves you to encourage others? You may be surprised by the insight you gain as you think about these and other questions that connect us as people.
At our core, we are simply human, following learned patterns of thinking and behavior. We all engage with life and people through the filter of the ideas and beliefs we’ve created or that have been passed on. Each one of us arrives in the present moment carrying all of the previous experiences and moments we’ve shared with others. I use the term moments intentionally, whether they last for years in jobs we love, or are more fleeting in everyday interactions. But, in each moment we have a choice. We have a choice in how we treat one another and how we respond to circumstances, conflict, or even possibility.
We have a choice in the moments before us to harness all of our individual and collective experiences to create change, to make a difference, to continually improve ourselves, each other, and the world we live in. We can use that power for good, to encourage more involvement and participation in decisions that impact our lives, or we can choose to negate our power and ability to make things happen. Sometimes a few simple words of encouragement is all it takes for us to move forward, whether it be one small step toward our goals or a giant leap into the unknown, as long as we are willing to listen, learn, and grow. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life and in my career, we often don’t know what we’re capable of until we are asked to do it.
This is my journey; a journey into the best of me and my fellow citizens. I hope my efforts reflect my genuine desire to involve others along the way, to bridge the growing political divide that threatens the very fabric of our nation, and to make a difference in my community. Abundant thanks to each and every person who has provided much-needed support, who has shown me something about myself and our common humanity, and who has encouraged the possibility of greatness in me, even when I was unsure of myself, my worth, or my ability. As it turns out, simply encouraging someone to be all they can be or to do something bold or courageous in life, may be just the spark we need to create change.