7 Lessons to Help Keep Your Power of Positive Intention When You (or Your Country) Are Attacked

This photo of Congressional staff calmly protecting the presidential elector ballots by taking them to a safe place while the Capitol was under siege by terrorists is very moving. I doubt these young women had any expectation when they took those jobs that they would stand between a bunch of marauding thugs and the sacred papers representing something so fundamental to our democracy. HT to them for having the presence of mind and all who made sure the votes were protected. Read here about the heroic actions of these Senate aides.
  1. Racists, sexists, antisemites, anti-LGBTQ beliefs are joined at the head. There is always an underbelly of this in American society. Those who say “this is not who we are” would be better served to say “this is not who we aspire to be.” Know this reality and that you are never going to get everyone under the same tent. The harder you fight them, the more dug in the hard core will get. Work with the persuasible majority.
  2. We are in for a time calling for the utmost courage and steely determination to forge ahead with the legitimate work of democracy regardless of the opposition to it. It’s a never-ending process. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
  3. We have a huge opportunity now. It is likely that the extremism laid bare in this moment will foster a political and social reset to greater respect for the institutions designed to protect freedom and justice and the gender and racial equality that Take The Lead works for every day.
  4. Do not retreat to secrecy or put your head down to avoid being noticed because that implies weakness and fear rather than strong leadership. Plus they will find you and target you anyway. You are better served to be out in the open where your friends will support you.
  5. Remember who you are and what your purpose is. Claim your values and wear them proudly.
  6. Don’t let the adversary take up residence in your head. Their hatred and venom is their problem. You stay focused on the good you are doing in the world. Save your energy for what you are doing to preserve your sense of positive intentions.
  7. Whether you are formally a leader or leading from whatever chair you sit in, deliver messages that uplift people to their higher values and help them feel a part of the effort to overcome the hatreds and divisions that have been laid bare.
Read more about Melinda Gates’ company Pivotal Ventures here.
Stacey Abrams’ leadership was instrumental in flipping Georgia’s Senate seats blue.

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Gloria Feldt

Gloria Feldt

Gloria Feldt is a New York Times bestselling author and co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a nonprofit women’s leadership organization.