what makes a politician successful?

When you think of "Politician" what words come to mind? I often think of words like: lies, manipulation, hopeless, self-interest, power hungry, slander, media, finance, inaction, shut down, bullying, extremism... but that's just me. I do know that I've acquired those associations over years of watching in disbelief as politicians continue valuing power and re-election over actually doing their job. I mean, why are we electing them in the first place? Is it because they had the most money to make appealing ads for themselves and slanderous ones for their opponent? Or, is it because they seem to be "the lesser of two evils?" Or do we just vote straight down party lines without ever taking the time to research their views, actions, and accomplishments? Unfortunately, I think many of us vote for candidates based on a combination of those or similar reasons.

Whenever I feel inspired to take a stand, to speak up, to point out the problems with our political system I am barraged with comments such as: "That's just how it is," "that's politics," "they have to do what they have to do to get re-elected." Well, you know what? Personally, I'm tired of electing or re-electing people who are not actually doing their job. The trouble is, in our society, getting elected is what they see as their job. That takes precedence over actually passing meaningful legislation in the service of helping and protecting their constituents. I don't know how we've gotten to this point, but the first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one. Here in the US, we have a problem. We've come to have very low expectations from our politicians, we've come to accept status quo, we've lost hope and faith in our politicians. If you didn't listen to last week's podcast, please do. I think it's vastly important for us to hear from politicians who see themselves as public servants and do their duty with integrity as Councillor Satvir Kaur does. 

This week's video is one part of a three part series John Oliver did on the Daily Show about gun control after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. If you know me then you know my feelings on guns and gun control. I'm not sharing this video to make a case one way or the other. I'm sharing this video to show that there are politicians in the world who take a stand for their people and who risk their political careers to make a meaningful difference in their constituents' lives. Please watch this. Hopefully someday when we think of "Politicians" the words that come to mind will be: service, support, interests of the people, betterment of society, advancement, action, agreement, progress, activism.

I know it's a volatile time politically: lots of emotions have been stirred up and many of us are reeling with anxiety over how things are going to turn out. This month's yoga class will therefore be a restorative yoga practice; an opportunity for you to quiet your mind, rest your body and hopefully feel a little peace in the midst of this tumultuous time. Check back on Monday for episode 4 of the lovely catalyst podcast.

elena x