Sunday, April 5, 2020

What Would I Tell the Little Girl...?

Lisa Montes
What would I tell the little girl (me) growing up back then about the situation growing up and living with today?

Books, schools, patriotism lessons have always informed me and others to believe that a governing leader of our country -and the people he/she surrounds him/herself with -would be the unifying force of leadership, with the capacity for instilling calm and positivity, while taking timely and equal actions to help ALL the country’s people in times of need.

So as a kid, I always envisioned this leader to be someone whose manner of addressing the nation and people, whose manner of communicating with the people, whose manner of taking actions to protect and help the people...would be one I could turn to and trust in...and not just find pride in their everyday manners, communications and actions... but especially in times of crisis.

I have great respect for men and women who have the ability and capacity to see everyone as equal and worthy of compassion, help and support, regardless of where they are economically, socially, culturally... and who communicate with all people with respect and kindness and professionalism. But here I am, one of billions of people living in a time of crisis like we never imagined we would have seen.

I am listening to words spoken out of a leaders own mouth on television, words by a leaders own hand over Twitter, and words by the mouths and hands of his family members, and some of whom he’s surrounded by...

...and I am no longer that little girl who believes the same way as I was taught to believe about this group of people.

Because these very people in those very important leadership positions that I was taught to trust and who are supposed to be leading by example - don’t act or speak like someone a child, an adult, or an older adult is or can be proud of.

Instead of leading by example to unify everyone and calm everyone and assure everyone of their support and actions... they rather constantly call people absurd and awful names, criticize the very people they are meant to support, they make fun of groups of people and rally for others to do the same, they fight and bully and publicly put down just about everyone who isn’t them.

They teach lessons of prejudice and bullying I don’t believe in at all. And then find it more important to talk about ratings and popularity, in a time when they should be talking about leadership actions helping the people of the country, and taking actions to help and encourage ALL people not just “their people.”

Instead of seeing shortages of supplies they can come together to help distribute and manufacture and transport to the people... they call those that are so desperately turning to them for direction and help “complainers” who should have thought of supplying themselves before a crisis (a rather hypocritical statement considering they themselves are now running low).

My point is this... a crisis is a crisis because it is most often unforeseen, and even with the best planning ahead no one can always be prepared to the fullest extent. Which is why we turn to leaders to help unify and find ways to mobilize and assist all the people together.
And during this crisis - the very leaders I have seen unify, mobilize, and take actions to help everyone, regardless of location, economics, social status, or culture... are, in fact, THE EVERYDAY PEOPLE OF OUR COUNTRY... not necessarily those in government.

We see local businesses and people across the country making hand sanitizers, masks and gowns, sharing supplies, food, finances, and resources with their neighbors, with strangers, working and supporting each other in whatever ways we can and being on the front lines to protect each other.
And they do so with respect for one another and kindness - no bullying or excluding in their equations.

And THEY are the ones who make me proud in times like this and everyday!

So what would I tell little girl me?
I would say you do not have to be the President of the United States or in public office to be a leader or someone to be proud of. You don’t need to look to government to find someone to trust to care or take care of you and our country...

BE EXTREMELY PROUD to be: A nurse, a CNA, a doctor, a veterinarian, a dentist, a police officer, a firefighter, a mailman/woman, a grocery store clerk/bagger/stocker, a seamstress, a cook, a dishwasher, a waiter/waitress, a housekeeping staff, a garbage man/woman, a teacher, a dog walker, an admin assistant, a receptionist, a salesperson, an entrepreneur, a driver, a warehouse fulfillment worker, a security specialist, a social worker, a counselor, a translator, a physical or occupational therapist, an interpreter, a news reporter, a construction worker, a handyman/woman, a farmer, a gardener, an author, a musician, a songwriter, an artist, a videographer, an IT specialist, a volunteer, and someone in the military or a veteran. And so many more jobs!

BE PROUD to be you because YOU ALL are what’s making this country run and thrive everyday, and in times of crisis.

Thank you for all you do for everyone!

Lisa Montes

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