By Odell Bizzell

This is not a political post.

I should say this again to be clear…

This is not a political post.

But right about now it seems like the previous statement is akin to the saying, “With all due respect..” It’s like you know when someone says “with all due respect,” they’re about to say something offensive or disrespectful.

But by saying “this is not a political post,” what I really mean is I am not declaring my political affiliation nor am I denigrating anyone else’s.

Politics in America is polarizing. Like it or not, polarization garners attention, but in context of this conversation it isn’t helpful.

So now that my long hopefully eloquent disclaimer is out of the way let’s get to the 4 things to remind ourselves before the Inauguration.

Don’t buy into the hype

I’ve kicked around the idea of going into politics myself. Because of that I know multiple politicians at the state level and they have said to me on multiple occasions that national politics is 70% reality TV and 30% misinformation. Read that sentence again. Advise your students don’t buy into the hype. Stay focused on what is happening on a day to day basis in your local community, don’t get caught up in clever distractions.

Focus from the inside out

We can’t change the world until we change ourselves, and changing ourselves is the hardest work we have to do. If we continually grow within, we will never be without. This is a daily activity that must be turned into a habit. Most of the time we focus on the outside world, rather than emphasizing how much we can change. Instead of waiting on your timeline to spread light and positivity, focus on spreading it yourself.

Wait for 3 days

I don’t know what’s going to happen during and after the Inauguration. One thing I do know people will have something to say about it. Advise your friends and colleagues to wait 3 business days before they respond to anything that anybody says on social media. This 3 day delay of commentary will work wonders for everyone’s mental health.

Keep doing the work

Whenever I give presentations I like to say: “Do you want to be in your feelings, or do you want to be in the trenches?” Most people don’t do anything to change the things they complain about. Encourage people to reach out to their local representatives and express what they would like changed in their local area.

I hope these tips helped you enough to pass them along. If they didn’t I’ll try to do better next time.

See you at the top!

To learn more about Odell Bizzell’s signature programs, click here. He also sends out short emails with tips and strategies to help students thrive in a diverse society twice a month to my friends and colleagues. If you’re interested in more helpful information like this you can click here:

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