Today's Kindness #328: May 29, 2023
🏛️❤️Kindness In Politics❤️🏛️
Before we start Today's Kindness, welcome to the 2nd Annual AKAD Smile Awards! Our award show celebrating National Smile Day on May 31. We have upgraded our celebration to a 6-day showcase of 7 individuals/organizations who have shown the power of kindness in the last year. Head to our social media to see the Impact The Kind award recipient.
The world of politics can be a place full of unfriendly and immature comments and debates. Some political figures try to use kindness as a strong leadership trait such as Rep. Julie McCluskie, the Speaker of the Colorado House.
We sat down with her to talk about how she uses kindness in the Colorado House as well as in her everyday life.
You can learn more about Rep. Julie McCluskie here.
1. With every interview that we do, we always ask, "What is a random act of kindness you have read, seen, or experienced?"
- "I was traveling through Grand County yesterday and while visiting, I held a town hall, to visit the people in those communities, because I represent them down at the state capitol. One of the local constituents came up to me and handed me a card just thanking me for my service. And that isn't something that happens every day in the world of politics. You know, so often we end up getting yelled at, or being the point of controversy when it comes to policy in the world that we live in. And it was really thoughtful and nice that this constituent thought to take a moment and write me a short card and thank me for my service. It meant a lot to me."
2. How does kindness impact a whole community, especially Colorado?
- "You know, I live in Summit County in the heart of ski country. And our economy thrives on tourism. You know, we want people to come to visit us, to explore the mountains in the summer and to ski on them in the winter. And when we create a local community, a local culture that demonstrates kindness, I think we're a much more enjoyable community to be a part of. And certainly, with visitors, you know, we hear people say, "Wow! That was such a wonderful vacation. I can't wait to come back! Everyone in the community was so welcoming, so nice, they went out of their way to help us." You know, whether it's finding a restaurant to eat at, giving us directions, whatever it might be. So I think the value of kindness for our state is that not only does it make it a better place for all of us to be every day, but it also helps our economy. It helps us as an entire state thrive and grow."
- "In the world of politics, I think it is easy to focus on the things we disagree about and not the things that we find agreement on or the things that we celebrate. Together, and in my role as Speaker of the House, it is very important to me that I build strong relationships with Democrats and Republicans, and that I work to serve all of the members of the House so that they can be successful in their public service to the people back in their districts. And I think the first step to doing that is demonstrating kindness through the simplest of things. A "good morning," "How are you doing?" Finding out about their interests, and their family, and demonstrating respect for who they are by being kind and courteous every day."
4. Who is someone you look up to as a kindness role model and why?
- "It may sound simple, but I look to my mother, you know. She raised me and my siblings with an expectation that we demonstrate politeness and kindness in how we deal with each other and our family, but certainly when we are out in the world. And she continues to be one of the nicest, sweetest people I know, and I can only hope that I make her proud by investing in my efforts to be kind and thoughtful to those around me."
5. What are some of your favorite things about Colorado?
- "There's so many things, you know, I grew up in Colorado. I am a Colorado girl through and through. I love where I live, the mountains, the beautiful blue skies, the snow in the winter, and the sunshine in the summer. I love our great outdoors. I'm very committed to working in the world that I work in to protect our beautiful environment and make sure that our public lands and our waterways are here for generations to come. I also love the diversity of this state. You can travel from one side of the state to the other and drive through corn fields and wheat fields, big cities, and mountains all in one day. And I think that's pretty powerful. The diversity in our state, both in our geography and our people, makes us something very special and unique."
6. Follow-up question, How do you feel about Pueblo Green Chili Sloppers?
- "So, I learned about Green Chili Sloppers, not all that long ago, and I can't even remember if it was Representative Daneya Esgar who told me about it or somebody else from the Pueblo area. But when I heard about them, I thought, "Wow, that sounds like the burger for me." So, I need to get down to have a Slopper at some point, but I have never tasted one."
Thank you to Rep. Julie McCluskie for answering the questions that I asked her today!
"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough."
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt