Advice for the New President
The inauguration of the 45th President of the United States has come to its conclusion. The concerts, parades, and parties are over. People are heading home from Washington, DC. The oaths have been taken and the speeches, given. Protesters have made their presence and positions known. The nation turns a corner and takes a new course. This latter piece, we know well. We are familiar with the leadership turnover process. It happens with some frequency in school districts across the country.
But, sometimes, it is better to keep it simple. We have intensely examined the magnitude, scope and depth, of this policy shifting transition of leadership. We have struggled with each other about what all we need and want to say. We come to this.... less is more. And so we reach into our Judeo-Christian heritage and find there a message for leaders that is perfect for this moment. Though you may know it in other forms, we offer you Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Old Testament's Psalm 15. In it, David seeks an understanding of who can be trusted to lead even if she or he leads only oneself. Here is the answer. We think it is good advice for all new leaders and for a President also.
...Those with a passion for justice,
who speak the truth from their hearts;
who have let go of selfish interests
and grown beyond their own lives;
who see the wretched as their family
and the poor as their flesh and blood.
They alone are impartial
and worthy of the people's trust.
Their compassion lights up the whole earth,
and their kindness endures forever.
Mitchell, S. (1993) A Book of Psalms. New York: Harper Collins