Bright Consulting
146 Reserve Ave
Oberlin, OH 44074
P: (440) 864.0634
Bright Consulting
146 Reserve Ave, Oberlin, OH 44074 P: (440) 864.0634

Uncommon Valor

January 28, 2012

This week, Gabrielle Giffords resigned her seat from the House of Representatives.  She served Arizona for almost five years until the tragic shooting in Tuscon in January 2010 that took the lives of six people and injured thirteen.  Gabrielle Giffords life has changed forever when she received a gunshot wound to the brain at close range by a deranged gunman.  She and the Tusconians that met her that fateful Saturday were exercising their right to assembly in a meet-and-greet opportunity with an elected official.

In the excrutiating months that followed the shooting, Gabrielle’s recovery was symbolic of her professional life — it was filled with singular focus and exceptional dedication to her goals, driven by solid principles.

Sometimes life events lead to unintended consequences.  Gabby’s painful and seemingly impossible challenges were not only about determination at all odds to survive and carve a new future.  Her life, for us, became a clear example of leadership and quiet grace.

In the 25 minute ceremony this week, Congress found itself united in solidarity as they created a fitting tribute to their colleague.  It was said of her, “She brought the word dignity to new heights because of her courage.”  Gabby, with class and grace, graciously attended to other’s expressions of emotion and tears.  Her professionalism was palpable and the journalists, who used words like “extraordinary” to describe the ceremony were struck by the uncommon ability Gabrielle Giffords’ had to bring both parties together in sincere solidarity.

Gabrielle Giffords behavior is the essence of valor.  Valor is uncommon, but a signifying trait of an exceptional leader.  Valor is defined in the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary as: “strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness : personal bravery”.  As I watched the Congress pay tribute to her impact on their individual lives and the august body in which they worked, she remained tearless and selfless.  Her attentions were focused on THEM, not on her own feelings or thoughts.  She was cheering them on with her single fist raised upwards, bidding them to fight for the American people in their work.  She was bolstering their strength to work tirelessly on, as she has done to recover her body and her spirit after being shot.  We can never know how hard it was, but we know how resolute she was to recover and we know how resolute she is to model her work for the ultimate principles that bind the human experience.  She appealed to the better, stronger spirit in each of us to do good work and to fight on for principles of justice.

We owe her a deep debt of gratitude for her enduring model of leadership to us.  It is a gift to us.

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