Friends of Amida-shu

The Friends of Amida-shu network is sponsored by Amida Trust.

In 1995 I was elected to Birmingham city council representing the inner city ward in which I lived. It was a humbling expuerience with so many people coming out in all weather to support me. I worked hard during my campaign and after my election I held regular advice surgeries and made sure i was available to my constituents. Many would come to my home on their own and sometimes whole families to share food and conversation. I loved the role and being a leader of my community. I was proud and humbled and very grateful for the opportunity I had been given.
I was given the further opportunity to lead council committees in my third year on the council becoming the chairperson of a number of housing and regeneration committees. Again I worked hard and tried to make a difference, to have a possitive impact on my ward and now the wider community in the city.
I was elected for a second term in what proved to be a very tough campaign, my loyal supporters again worked hard for me and some wept when I was reelected as they cheered and embraced me. It was a great feeling and I went on to secure a possition on the first cabinet under the governments local government reforms. I secured the portfolio for housing an area I did and do feel passionately about.
During this time I felt less engaged with my ward and constituents as I became hooked on strategy and policy. The same people who wept at my election would be avoided as I found I had little time for the mundane advice surgeries.
Looking back I see why I was not elected for a third term, I honestly believe my supporters saw I had had enough and preferred to remember the energetic motivated man who always had time to stop and chat.
Who was grateful for the opportunity he had been given by these wonderful people. It is good to keep a perspective and control ones ego, I feel I let down some of the most influential people in my life at that time. I also missed some of the Important occasions in my children's lives. Choosing to build a career in what is an impermanent role. You can't change the past what is done is done. However I hope that I learn from my experience and make adjustments accordingly.

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Comment by Wendy Haylett on July 10, 2016 at 19:48

Thank you for this honest assessment. I particularly loved this, especially in light of the current tempestuous American election cycle. The ego is sneaky. Even for those of us voters ... we're quick to judge politicians who become jaded by power. Yet, I think all of us can easily be confused by our own egos in every profession. Thank you It is a wonderful reminder to pause and look at ourselves.

Comment by Sujatin on June 28, 2016 at 9:15

I think this is a lesson for us all. Particularly, at the moment, we are seeing the consequences of a number of politicians, who undoubtedly went into the job with altruistic intentions (or so we hope), having become divorced from the issues their constituents care about. And there are, sad to say, a few who have become caught up in hubris and glamour, with troubling consequences for us all. It's easy for us foolish beings to get caught up in business, ego, Self Power - banana skins that lie in front of every step.

Namo Amida Bu

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