Dealing with disappointment

I was thinking about yesterday’s entry as I listened to Mitt Romney’s concession speech yesterday.  Failing to be elected as President of the United States clearly wasn’t an experience that Romney had sought.  But it seemed to me that he dealt with it graciously and with aplomb.

Admittedly it took him a while to come out and make his speech (after the outcome was clear), and he has been criticised in some quarters for this delay.  However, I think that there is merit in allowing time to process your emotions, gather your thoughts and then react to any disappointment that comes along in life.

There were two aspects of the concession speech that I thought were noteworthy.

Firstly, Romney went beyond the bare minimum of thanking his supporters, congratulating his opponent and walking off.  He was almost statesman-like when he said:

“At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the nation’s work.”

This didn’t give the impression of a quick ‘tick the box’ speech, but rather it was crafted to set a positive tone for his followers.

Secondly, I thought he demonstrated integrity by not hiding his disappointment while offering to pray for Obama.

“I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.”

While Mitt Romney wouldn’t have been my choice for President, I thought the way he handled himself in defeat was classy – and a lesson to all of us when we face disappointment.


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