Angela Poe Russell: The lesson we all can learn from President Biden

Jul 10, 2024, 6:04 AM


U.S. President Joe Biden listens to a sermon during a campaign stop at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ on July 7, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Alex Wong, Getty Images)

(Photo: Alex Wong, Getty Images)

As disturbed as I am by the state of politics right now, I do have President Biden to thank for giving me a new perspective on a personal matter.

You see, next month, my firstborn daughter is moving across the country for college. I’ve heard stories about how brutal this can be and my emotions are like a roller coaster. But if I’m being honest, it’s only partly about my daughter leaving. Yes, I will miss her. But the other part is, in two years, my other daughter will turn 18 and I’m knocking on the door of a looming life change. A big one. Some days, it freaks me out.

You start reflecting on where all the time went and if you did all the right things. What will happen next? What will life be like without kids in the house?

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These feelings are right in line with what a dear friend and psychologist once shared with me. He said there are five great fears for everyone — and one of them is fear of change.

Watching President Biden these last few weeks highlighted what resisting change looks like. It’s not pretty. It’s not about his age per se, but being aware personally when it’s time to make a shift versus actually doing something about it. We see examples of this when athletes play one season too many, fight one fight too many. Or that person who has the money to retire, but fears the change and keeps working, only to later regret the decision.

Change is scary and it does tie into all the other fears like death, rejection, injury — all the scary stuff. But resisting it doesn’t make it better and if you are in a key position, like the president, you could actually negatively impact others.

There is a season for everything and as much as I’d love to stay a 40-something, seasons change.

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When my parents dropped me off at college, I remember crying as their van slowly pulled away. Thirty minutes later while wiping my tears away, I met some new people, made plans and all of a sudden I was more focused on the opportunities ahead than what was behind me. Reflecting on Biden’s situation, I’m reminded to embrace this next shift.

I know there is no higher office than the presidency and he is no young college student, but there is still life beyond power and position. I just hope Biden finds that out before it’s too late.

Angela Poe Russell is a local media personality and a fill-in host on KIRO Newsradio. You can read more of her stories here.

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