I think we all have them. Some are widely shared. Some are very unique.
I’m fully prepared to acknowledge that in the unique category are those proud moments that occur in public service at the White House. And, mind you, I said “unique” not better or more important.
They are unique because of the roughly 326 million people now living in the United States, only a tiny percentage have an inclination to serve in the White House and only a fraction of those ever receive the opportunity.
Several days ago, I confess to spending a good deal of time in reflection about proud moments shared with President George H.W. Bush. The occasion was a meeting of the Bush Library Foundation Board of Trustees. I was asked to serve in the 1990s as the former chief of staff to Vice President Bush. The group hadn’t actually met in a number of years and out of the blue came an invitation to Kennebunkport, Maine for a meeting and a reception with President and Mrs. Bush.
Perhaps because I have not visited their wonderful home in Kennebunkport for a few years; or, perhaps due to the tribulations in Washington that seem almost debilitating; but, whatever it was, the occasion brought some of the best of times rushing back.
We’d traveled to over 60 countries together. And, we managed to build a campaign effort that proved successful with his election in November 1988.
It wasn’t so much a sense that somehow we’d changed history…of course, we certainly made some. And, there wasn’t some focus on big decisions. It really was more a sense of pride in time spent helping a person in whom I believed so much become President. Along that path there were many proud moments.
I came away from the weekend mindful of how important it is not to take for granted the proud moments all of us experience in whatever circumstance they may arrive. Family certainly provides many. Professional opportunities provide them. Helping others brings a sense of pride and self-worth that has been the focus of many a study.
Wherever you may be and whatever the activities in which you engage, do take the time to pause and appreciate the proud moments in life.
If there was any downside to these proud moment reflections, it went to the notion that in this White House so many must be working so hard; yet, I can’t help but think they will be denied the proud moments the many who have gone before them experienced. That is a shame. But, maybe the message here is that proud moments are too important to endanger with adverse circumstances. Paying attention to the environment in which one places themselves and the available opportunities for taking pride in one’s achievements is important; and, a paucity of proud moments is not to be taken for granted – at least that’s what I’d tell anyone currently working at The White House should they ask.
Craig Fuller served four years in the White House as assistant to President Reagan for Cabinet Affairs, followed by four years as chief of staff to Vice President George H.W. Bush. Having been engaged in five presidential campaigns and run public affairs firms and associations in Washington, D.C., he now resides on the Eastern Shore with his wife Karen.