Hi, I’m Bethany Brubaker aka “Mrs. Coach Bru” and for the first time ever I’m contributing a guest post to John’s newsletter. My husband set an amazing example this weekend and my children and I want the chance to share what we learned by watching him.
1. Be moved. Earlier this summer, the country was shocked by a series of police shootings. It set up a false dichotomy-you were either “for” the police or you were “for” the Black Lives Matter movement. John did not accept that choice and allowed himself to be “for” everyone. He was moved by the sacrifices law enforcement officers make and are willing to make daily. His dad spent almost his entire working life in the Air Force (fighting in World War II, Korea and Vietnam) and I think this background has always made him especially appreciative of all people in and out of uniform who work to make society safer. It is in this context that he thought about not only the slain police officers, but their families.
2. Be open. John shared with me, with our kids, with his friends and colleagues his feelings. Sometimes this takes bravery and a willingness to be vulnerable. It’s worth it. It allows connections that would not otherwise be made and they will be deeper and stronger because of it.
3. Be motivated. Sometimes we only have the time and energy to add our name to a petition or click the share button. That’s okay. We’ve all been there. But that cannot be your only response. Sometimes you just have to do more. Do something. John did something in a big way.
4. Be humble. You cannot and should not do it alone. Partnering improves actions, events and movements.
5. Be the example. How cliché is that, right? “Walk the talk”. But what an example he gave our kids this weekend. He responded to a national event at a local level. He gathered people together to walk 50 miles from the state police barracks in Gray Maine to state police headquarters in the state capital, Augusta, over two days. He got a hotel and restaurant to donate rooms and food. The state troopers and sheriff’s dept. provided police escorts. One police department (Auburn ME) asked them to stop in when they walked through town in order to get their picture taken with them and give them a standing ovation.
6. Be a reflector. I am using this purposefully for two definitions:
a. When light shines on you, be sure to send it back to others. As proud as I am of my husband, I was most moved by the widow of the first Maine police officer killed in the line of duty 52 years ago. Her story was the perfect illustration of what moved John. She, too, is such an example for us all: months away from her 80th birthday she surprised everyone (including herself) by walking 18 miles over 2 days.
b. Think, mull, be pensive. Spend some time to examine why you do the things you do. Are you spending your time, energy and example the way you want to be?
My kids are proud of their dad. And they should be.
Please join me in thanking him for setting an example for all of us.