I can’t really watch the clip above without tearing up. It was agonizing to hear today that US politician Rep. Gabby Giffords is going to resign from Congress this week. I definitely am not saying this to make some kind of partisan statement. She is, quite simply, one of the bravest people in the public spotlight today. Somehow, despite the fact that she was shot in the head a year ago in a mass shooting, she survived. Many of us, on either side of the aisle hoped against all hope that this Arizonian Congresswoman would come back to Congress despite the horrible odds.
To me Giffords speaks to the heart of what I love most about the United States. What lifts the problems and the ugliness and persuades me to call this country home is the “candoitness” that defines the American spirit, the “never say die” attitude that I think finds some of its most pure expression in the heart cry of the best Americans and in some of the bravest leaders around the world.
Gabby Giffords loves the fact that her district included Tombstone, the “town too tough to die.” There is something about this mentality that cannot help but inspire dogooders the world over. Giffords may need to step aside for a season but she promised that this would not be it for her work. Her words “I will return” should give us courage, not just for the future of American politics but for our own lives as we stare down the fear of failure and persist in reaching for that which transcends our present circumstances.