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Life-Long Learning

Posted: December 14, 2012

Last week, high off my 2nd White House visit in two months, JCHE sent out an eblast to over 5000 friends urging them to support the President’s agenda for resolving the fiscal cliff issue as part of a special Leading Age call-in day. I was so taken with the urgency and the message from the President’s key advisors that I moved forward too quickly.  It wasn’t until after I had hit send that I realized how the eblast may have read to some as JCHE taking “sides” in the divisiveness that now dominates Washington, and I know that doing so fails to recognize the diversity of JCHE’s supporters.

I’m not backing off from personally supporting the President’s agenda, nor from believing that sequestration (the automatic, across-the-board cuts to federal government funding that occur if a more specific resolution on the debt is not approved) would be extremely harmful to JCHE and our residents.  I simply learned that charging forward with a political message, without taking the time to focus exclusively on what part of the issue relates directly to JCHE, was offensive to some and off-putting to some others.

Fortunately, a few of our friends took the time to respond thoughtfully.  Rather than simply write off JCHE, they explained that they are big supporters of what we do, but not necessarily of other programs that the federal government funds, and expect us to have a more nuanced presentation.  We will in the future.

For now, two things strike me.  First of all, the bipartisan support that our work receives speaks volumes about the common values we all share, something which we hear to  little about today.  Secondly, a huge thanks too people who take the time to make this job an opportunity for life-long learning!

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