The Donald Trump Phenomenon: A Lesson On Evaluating Feedback Critically

Being a child of non-native American parents, reclusive from a typical childhood, and in large part raised by television (no cable, channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13 only), provoked early exposure to evening and nightly news.

Without realizing it, I was introduced to and began to understand the world I would later inherit. Watching the news transported me into a severe world with no absolutes or without the protective cocoon parents provide.

So at the age of 11 (almost 12) my sixth grader teacher (Ms. Wagner) determine to not allow her day job deprive her from witnessing the first inauguration of Bill Clinton, I remembered when Ms. Wagner chose me to wheel in a heave metal stand housing a tube television and a VCR. The classroom window shades pulled down, lights off, all 36 students eating lunches on our desks, all got to watch that January 20, 1993, inauguration.

Looking back, perhaps the honor of receiving that hall pass was given in large part to the memorable sidebar conversations Ms. Wagner and I held regarding political process and personal opinions. (It was either that or her knowing I was most comfortable operating a VCR.)

Mrs. Wagner was an overt Democrat.

Me, I was fascinated by Ross Perot and was totally feeling the momentum of the Reform School Party created.

Anyhow, my candidate lost that election cycle. And If I’m to be totally forthcoming, the election of ‘93, mimicked all future presidential victories (i.e., ‘97, ‘01, ‘05, and ‘09).

While I have yet to learn who “should” win an election, I have learned that politics is an emotional business. I have learned that our political beliefs are closely tethered to our deepest moral values and are carefully constructed from the personal experiences that make up our lives. And when you combine all those experiences, values and ideals, you get a lot of one thing: emotion.

Emotions are important to understand for candidates and non candidates alike because they drive our behaviors as human beings.

Fear, confidence, hope, skepticism — they all serve as catalysts for our actions. In an election year, it is particularly important for people to understand the sentiments surrounding each candidate, platform, and issue, so we are better adept to anticipate the realities we are likely to face.

Leading me to observe the Donald Trump phenomenon, and to walk away with a lesson on evaluating feedback critically .

To explain Donald Trump is not all that difficult, explaining why millions of people applaud him is more of a challenge. There is a lot of speculation over why people like Donald Trump.

Donald Trump’s story is one about resilience; mastering the art to evaluate critical feedback. I believe Donald Trump holds an ability to retain his own power.

Retaining your power is about evaluating feedback to determine if it has any validity. While criticism can sometimes open our eyes to how others perceive us so we can make positive change — a friend points out a bad habit, or a spouse helps you see your selfish behavior — at other times criticism is a reflection of the critic.

Angry people may choose to offer harsh criticism quite regularly just because it relieves their stress.

Or individuals with low self-esteem may feel better about themselves only when they put other people down. So it’s kinda important to really consider the source before making any decisions about how you want to proceed.

When you receive criticism or feedback from others, wait a second before responding. If you are upset or emotionally reactive, take the time to calm down.

Keep in mind that one person’s opinion of you doesn’t make it true. You can respectfully choose to disagree and move on without devoting time and energy into trying to change the other person’s mind.

Bringing it back my personal awareness, while I have never correctly predicted who “should” win presidential office, I have chosen to remain politically engaged and am empowered by my own thought process.

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This post originally appeared on SagelySalvaged.com