“Jim and I have been called America’s Spiritual Odd Couple. I thought about that. Why are we an odd couple? We’re never at odds. We’re not arguing. We may be different but we’re not arguing. I’d like to help people stop throwing down the gauntlet on these issues. When someone throws down the gauntlet, I […]
Liz Cheney shared three things she learned from her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, while she co-wrote his book, In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir.
First: Press forward. Liz shared how her father endured five heart attacks without complaining. He just continued to press forward and do what was necessary.
Second: Always listen first. Liz also explained why her father is such a good listener. Early in his career, he volunteered his solution about a problem at the outset of a meeting. No one listened to him because he was young and inexperienced. By the end of the discussion, the other attendees adopted Cheney’s recommended action, but no one remembered that Cheney initially suggested it. Through this experience, he learned that the fewer words you use, the more sway they have.
Third: Be strong and courageous. Liz also admires her father for how courageous he is. She praised him for having the strength to stand up for his convictions. He faced vindictive criticism, including when an MSNBC commentator recommended using Cheney’s heart as a football. Ed Schultz suggested, “We ought to rip it out and kick it around and stuff it back in him.” Despite such a painful insult, Cheney did not falter in his service to his country.
What can we learn from Cheney? We can learn not to let health issues deter us from our mission or darken our demeanor. No one else can fulfill our mission, and our attitude influences not just us but also those around us. We can learn to listen and let our words have greater effect by using fewer of them. We can also learn to stand up for what is right, and ignore unjust criticism. Using these three things, we can inspire those around us to lead more fruitful and happy lives.