Thursday, June 24, 2010

Emotions and Kevin Rudd

It was a day of mixed emotions as we saw the end of Rudd and the beginning of Gillard. I was interested in getting rid of Howard and excited about a new government in 2007. There was something refreshing about a new approach to politics with Rudd, sort of a sense of the unexpected we experienced during the Whitlam years.

Then it all turned sour as Rudd lost confidence in himself and the public began to see through the facade. We began to witness a man who had very little confidence in others and failed to consult with those who new better than him. Politicians are so closely scrutinised these days that we are able to see the skid marks in their underwear.

Kevin became dogged with his sense of his own importance and forgot that the skid marks were becoming more and more obvious. Every time he bent over the cracks became more obvious.

Regardless how we saw him and how disappointed we became in him it was with a great deal of sadness that we witnessed a broken man who, regardless of his lack of people skills was shattered that he wasn’t able to fulfil his dreams. I don’t think he was a “bad” man at all but he did work his staff hard and expected them to work hours that were simply unrealistic, all to fit his distorted view of the world. He did expect others to implement programs without much thought and planning even though he still worked his staff to death. Perhaps they were too tired to give his projects the clear headed approach they deserved.

There he was before all of us crying. No matter what you thought of Rudd if you were a half decent human being you had to have some sort of emotional connection with the humiliation he was feeling. Even Abbott had some emotional twinge, that may remind him that his day may also not be too far away, especially if he loses the next election. But what does it mean to shed tears like this? What are the emotions which a person experiences who holds such a high powered position? Why is it that the only person who has displayed such open emotional distress was Bob Hawke? Maybe its a Labour Party thing. Is it just the lofty position from which they have fallen or is it the fact that a large ego took such a beating that they are grieving their own deflated sense of self?

At his final press conference her reflected on the stolen generation and the people who were spread out on the lawn in front of parliament house. He clearly saw that as a very emotional experience. He could have talked about the emotions he felt a long time ago. I suppose we have to wait until we read his memoirs. The Rudd we saw today was human and not the monotone boring policy driven git we had become tired off. If he had been able to express himself in the way he did today over the past couple of years perhaps he wouldn’t have had to fall from such a high place.

The lesson we all can learn from this is that emotions are an important aspect of who we are. We try to hide from them and we make out that they shouldn’t play a part in our life particularly if we hold public office. The reality is that people connect with you when you display emotions as they did today. This doesn’t mean that our life has to be full of tears but I am sure that talking about feelings would be just as significant. To identify what our feelings are and describe them in appropriate ways allows us to see others for what they really are and not just see the facade. Feelings have great meaning and it is therefore the expressing of them which gives meaning to our lives.

Hears hoping that Julia doesn’t buy into the same political philosophy as Rudd and allows us to see her emotional self.