Jack Reed Jr. on Leadership or "I'll Have an Arnold Palmer; Please."

Jack Jr. on Leadership or "I'll Have an Arnold Palmer; Please."

Summer is here y’all and it’s getting deep. I’m not sure where you live but it’s hot in Mississippi. Most good Southerners have a strategy for staying cool and as a good Southerner I’ve been working on mine for years. The Arnold Palmer is part of my master plan. An Arnold Palmer is a drink. It is one part iced tea one part lemonade. I’ve been sipping them for years. I haven’t paused to think of their social importance until yesterday.

The Clarion Ledger ran a piece on Jack Reed Jr. the mayor of Tupelo. I immediately read it because Jack Sr. is one of my favorite Mississippians. When I was in the 5th grade at Poplar Springs Elementary School I played the part of Jack Reed in our school’s mock gubernatorial election. It was a little civics lesson that introduced me to the world of Southern politics. I got to meet Mr. Reed during the course of the deal and even stumped for him at a rally. It was my first and last political speech. Jack Reed Sr. is a class act and I think he embodies the best of Mississippi. Reading his son’s piece brought back some good memories.

At the end of the interview Reed said, “I’m working on a speech entitled, “The Courage to Be Moderate” or “I’ll have and Arnold Palmer; Please.” After a year as an elected public servant, I am more convinced than ever that Tupelo, and Mississippi, need men and women who have the wisdom to consider both sides of public debates; who have the strength to acknowledge that the other side has a good point; and who recognize that the most productive answers are generally ‘both/and’ not ‘either/or.’ In battle, ‘the center must hold.’”

As a moderate in things political and ecclesiastical I say, “May his tribe increase!”


Kate said...

Matt, While I don't consider myself at all smart enough to disagree with you...I do have an opinion. It is my opinion and can be taken for what it is. I have always considered myself a black/white, or either/or, person. This to me means that things are right or they are wrong. Very few issues to me have a grey area. I do think though that I am very capable of seeing the other side of things, even if I don't agree.

I have to say that I think it is a tricky trail to travel when we try to have our cake and eat it too. Sometimes, even though it isn't the popular choice, we have to take a stand on issues that we truly believe are right or wrong. But I do completely agree that we have to consider both sides and know that their points/thoughts may in fact be valid or useful and not just disagree because they are from the opposing party. Thanks for your blog.

Matt Snowden said...

You are way smarter than me because you can do math. I'll have to think about what you said a little. Sorry Will got banished to Clinton.

Kate said...

I think we agree! It just took me a while to figure out what you were saying. And I can barely even add anymore. My mommy-brain has taken over and I can barely hold a thought these days.

Matt Snowden said...

Kate we love y'all. Praying for the bayou and you.

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