Friday, October 19, 2012

Some advice on becoming a civic leader

Written by Santarvis Brown, Vice President of Civic Leadership
Leadership is a topic that many have speculated and pontificated on. Today however, I would like to reflect upon a more specified tenet within the ongoing dialogue about leadership, and that is the concept of "civic leadership." 
Santarvis Brown
Civic leadership plainly described is the leadership that you exhibit in regards or response to the issues that face your community. As we have seen in recent years, there is a major push in regards to civic engagement and civic leadership.
It is vital that everyone understand that they have a civic voice that they must actively use to impact and affect change. The question that you may be asking is, how do I become civically involved? The answer is by seeking out a cause or issue that you are passionate about and working for the betterment of it. Once you have identified an issue or cause that you want to work for, roll up your sleeves and get to work. 

A piece of advice that I would like to offer is “Don’t get hung up on the task.” What I mean by this is, sometimes we get discouraged or weary in the work we're doing because we don’t think that the impact we have is enough. Always remember that any task that you do for the cause is appreciated and useful.

I can remember the story of a preacher who was nearing retirement and had only saved one soul in his fifty-year career. As a gift, his church gave him a pre-retirement paid vacation to the location of his choice. He decided that he would go and visit the church of a young pastor who was saving hundreds of souls monthly. He visited the church and after a powerful sermon that 50 people attended that Sunday, the older pastor went to talk to the young pastor. 

The older pastor said, “Reverend, I heard so much about you and I wanted to meet you. In my fifty year career, I have only saved one person, and I need to know where I went wrong.” 

The young pastor smiled, and said, "Reverend, you said you only saved one soul, correct?" 

The old pastor said, "Yes, and I feel that I have failed." 

The young pastor said to the older pastor as he embraced him, "Don’t feel that you have failed because I am the one person that you saved, and because you saved me, hundreds get saved monthly."

The moral of the story is that every job working for a cause is important, even if your work is only putting together application packets for people to register to vote…. Do it well and with a smile. I say with a smile because one of those packets may lead to a registration that may be that deciding vote for an election.

So get up, find your cause, and get to work.

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