I think we were all shocked, stunned and disappointed at recent revelations concerning the social media accounts of some politicians.
No-one can doubt that politics (especially in the run up to an election) can sometimes get dirty and messy, and if there is dirt to be found, someone, somewhere out there will always find it.
We are right to be disappointed, and we should be disgusted by the comments. After all, leadership is about integrity, honesty and paving a better way for us – right? We all long for leaders to lead the way, to mean what they say, and in a sense to ‘practice what they preach’. But as I watched people’s anger on display, I couldn’t help but be reminded that leaders are human too.
Learning the rhythm of rest … pic.twitter.com/qTPiVdebJs— Rev Karen Sethuraman (@KarenSethuraman) February 6, 2022
Don’t get me wrong, there will always be consequences for our actions, and many leaders have lost their effectiveness, and even their position due to poor choices, but the truth is they are still human. If we are going to err, and goodness knows we are going to, then let’s err on the side of grace, compassion and kindness. It was right to be angry, but we need to guard against our anger being destructive, rather than instructive.
We all have our mess, our stuff, our short-comings and our failings. I believe every moment presents us with an opportunity to learn/unlearn or even relearn, including our failures, and we all need a few people in our lives who have our backs, who pick us up and point us in the right direction.
Once the initial shame and embarrassment eases, I hope and pray that the hard questions will be asked: Who do you need to apologise to? What did you learn from this? Who do you need to go and meet face-to-face to make this right? Who do you need to connect and sit with, asking them humbly to teach and help you be a better person? In closing, can a person recover from failure?
Yes, I absolutely believe so. At the end of the day, the people will either vote the politicians in or out. As mentioned before, life and leadership may change, but our mistakes have the potential to help us grow and transform us. Things may look different, outcomes may change, but most importantly, failure has the ability to shape and mould us.
I cannot be a person of faith and a champion of a gospel of grace if I believe that failure is final. Failures are part of life. Most of us aren’t politicians, but we all know what it is to make mistakes.
Don’t lose heart... if we don’t fail, we don’t learn.