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Mayor Lenny Curry

Who would have ever thought we would be sitting in the middle of a “crisis” and have our Mayor “yelling” at us to do as he says.

Last night our Mayor tweeted this statement:

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For some reason, I was reminded of a chapter in Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends And Influence People.” The story was about a bet between the North Wind and the Sun. The North Wind thought it could get people to do what he wanted by being a bully. The sun felt a more gentle approach was in order. Here’s the story:

The North Wind boasted of great strength. The Sun argued that there was great power in gentleness.

“We shall have a contest,” said the Sun.

Far below, a man traveled a winding road. He was wearing a warm winter coat.

“As a test of strength,” said the Sun, “Let us see which of us can take the coat off of that man.”

“It will be quite simple for me to force him to remove his coat,” bragged the Wind.

The Wind blew so hard, the birds clung to the trees. The world was filled with dust and leaves. But the harder the wind blew down the road, the tighter the shivering man clung to his coat.

Then, the Sun came out from behind a cloud. Sun warmed the air and the frosty ground. The man on the road unbuttoned his coat.

The sun grew slowly brighter and brighter.

Soon the man felt so hot, he took off his coat and sat down in a shady spot.

“How did you do that?” said the Wind.

“It was easy,” said the Sun, “I lit the day. Through gentleness I got my way.”

*****

What a great story and human nature tells us we react better to gentleness than to someone pushing us around.

We certainly could all use a little gentleness nowadays. The bullying leadership style of our Mayor is wearing thin and EVEN IF HE IS RIGHT ABOUT THE MASKS, his message of annoyance at No Masks Constituents is wrong and unprofessional and doesn’t achieve the results he wants.

Telling him this doesn’t seem to matter. He has his style of leadership and I wish it wasn’t so. We would certainly be a happier and more content community if gentleness was evident from City Hall.

But we can’t just complain about this. We need to give ideas for change.

Here’s mine: Maybe it’s time for a community reading project. I would suggest using the Bible but I’ll get push back on that one for sure. So instead let’s try reading Mr. Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and find ways on how we can all get along. Over 30 million copies have been sold worldwide, making it one of the best selling books of all time. It’s 80 years old but the lessons are timeless and it will teach us all how to be friends!

And I think we can all agree — the people who need to read it the most — are our servants in government. They think they are the wind and they really should act like the sun. They do work for us — in case they have forgotten – and since we are their customers, we should be treated with kindness and respect and not cussed at.

Whatever it takes — I for one am ready for a change in the atmosphere and a change in our language with each other. This pandemic is bringing out the worst in people and we need to do our part to bring peace and unity — not division – to our community and our world.

Speaking calm, respectful words will help. Let’s learn from the sun and “through gentleness we will get our way.”

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Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives

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