It’s hard not to equate the parable of the Sun and the North Wind to this Biden / Trump election.
The story concerns a competition between the North Wind and the Sun to decide which is the stronger of the two. The challenge was to make a passing traveller remove his cloak. However hard the North Wind blew, the traveller only wrapped his cloak tighter to keep warm, but when the Sun shone, the traveller was overcome with heat and soon took his cloak off.
It goes without saying who’s the North Wind, who’s the Sun and who the traveller represents in this story. At least from where I was sitting, halfway around the world, I saw that one candidate huffed and puffed at covid ‘unsafe’ rallies, while the other extended their warmth with his running mate, with calm, with strategy, and articulated policy. The travellers in this story are the US citizens, many who have been ready to take off their cloaks for months and many who might still be holding their cloaks tight but will hopefully remove them in time.
“We may be opponents — but we are not enemies,” he said. He added that, “I will be a president for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not.”
— President-elect Joe Biden
Now it’s time to exhale. And continue to breathe.
I still vividly remember where I was, emotionally, 4 years ago. Nearly catatonic in foetal position and reeling from the shock of how the country voted. My safe, secure, hermetically sealed blue bubble had been burst. I felt erased.
Despite my disappointment in 2016, I was galvanised to continue and also step up my work in creating a better world. Fearing I lost all motivation after the election results, I knew it was the LAST thing I needed to give up on. I recognised my work with SheEO Radical Generosity was even more important — on economic, societal, and personal levels.
Shortly thereafter, as I was listening to the Universe, an unexpected opportunity (with a promise of wearing flip flops, daily) fell in my lap. While not overtly looking to leave the country, I was offered an exciting role and a new life in Australia — as I jokingly referred to my status as a Trumpfugee.
As part of my acceptance of this role and my budding friendship with my flip flop wearing predecessor, I was able to keep my promise to grow the #RadicalGenerous network of SheEO. To my delight three and a half years later we saw over 500 women Activating and raising over $600k perpetual fund for women-led businesses working on the world’s to do list.
Three years later, my tenure at the role for which I moved to Australia, is ending. As my position has been made redundant, I believe the Universe will provide support as this one door closes in opening a window or a skylight. I already feel something is on the horizon as my creative spirit has been lit.
I now have a clear focus that I need to continue supporting women and women-led ventures. This is my sparkle. I’ve also been awoken and more aware of the inequities in my communities, my workplace, and my countries. There’s a need and my personal desire to advocate for more equitable workplaces and communities in my next endeavour.
The tone and energy, not even 12 hours after this election has been called, is hopeful and feels like the Sun is shining and I can remove my cloak — no longer needing to fight against the North Wind.
The North Wind & the Sun
The North Wind and the Sun had a quarrel about which of them was the stronger. While they were disputing with much heat and bluster, a Traveler passed along the road wrapped in a cloak.
“Let us agree,” said the Sun, “that he is the stronger who can strip that Traveler of his cloak.”
“Very well,” growled the North Wind, and at once sent a cold, howling blast against the Traveler.
With the first gust of wind the ends of the cloak whipped about the Traveler’s body. But he immediately wrapped it closely around him, and the harder the Wind blew, the tighter he held it to him. The North Wind tore angrily at the cloak, but all his efforts were in vain.
Then the Sun began to shine. At first his beams were gentle, and in the pleasant warmth after the bitter cold of the North Wind, the Traveler unfastened his cloak and let it hang loosely from his shoulders. The Sun’s rays grew warmer and warmer. The man took off his cap and mopped his brow. At last he became so heated that he pulled off his cloak, and, to escape the blazing sunshine, threw himself down in the welcome shade of a tree by the roadside.
Gentleness and kind persuasion win where force and bluster fail.