Good Newt/Bad Newt And Good Me/Bad Me

As we watch the temporary or lasting rise of Newt Gingrich as the key Republican candidate for president, I’m struck by a comment that I’ve heard or read several times. Many pundits and/or people familiar with Gingrich will talk about the “good Newt” versus the “bad Newt.” Good Newt is that side of Gringrich that is open-minded, intellectually curious, and a seeker of knowledge. Bad Newt is that side of Gringrich that is explosively vain, intellectually scattered, and a pursuer of flattery. Invariably, the dialogue about good Newt/bad Newt is concluded with a round of hearty, self-satisfied laughs, smirks, and grins by discussion participants.

OK. Agreed. The broader and much more important point, however, is that there is a good me/bad me, good you/bad you, good all/bad all. It’s the stuff of human nature to say that thee and me is nothing but good and bad together, positive and negative together, strengths and weaknesses together. Anyone who thinks they are immune from good/bad halves is either fooling themselves or attempting to fool you. 

Your leadership and my leadership reflects this inescapable fact and reality. Your River–both in God’s or if you prefer Higher Power’s construction of Your River and your personal journey as a vessel on Your River–is the story of how these two joined yet opposing sides interact in the flow of time.

Don’t get smug about someone else having good/bad sides. They’re in you and me, too.