Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land. —Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

T his week, I received an email from a job candidate who had received a rejection notice from us. I know nothing of his story, challenges, successes or failures. He simply submitted a resume in response to an ad and, for whatever reason, was rejected by our team with a standard form email. He felt compelled to send me an email telling me that “Trump is going to fix this.”  His comment stopped me in my tracks.

My first thought was a question: What is it that this individual expects Mr. Trump to fix? Did he expect Trump to improve his resume? Add years of experience to his career? Give him a collection of skills that we might find more useful?  I wondered aloud, “is he seriously typing that email to me thinking that Trump is going to give him a job?” Then it occurred to me that the tone wasn’t really that hopeful; it sounded more like a desire to get even.  Maybe he thought  a President Trump would disadvantage someone else so that this candidate was put in a better position to secure a job.

Either way, that line of thinking is destructive to both his sense of self and his attitude toward his fellow man.

Thinking back a few years, it reminded me of another time, another election. The election of 2008 was about hope and change as well. Then it became clear: we have people waiting for someone else to fix their lives.

Where did we lose our self-reliance? When did we decide that it was someone else’s fault? Why do we have citizens expecting an elected official to make their lives better?

What would I say to the individual who sent me that email? My first question would be: what are YOU doing to position YOURSELF for success? Is YOUR resume the best reflection of YOUR skills and capabilities? When YOU submitted YOUR resume, did YOU provide a cover letter telling us how YOU will bring value to our company and how YOU are the best possible candidate? Did YOU apply for a job that YOU really, really want? Did YOU research our company before applying and reference your discoveries in YOUR cover letter and YOUR resume? Did YOU discover who the hiring manger is and did YOU make a phone call to personally introduce yourself? Do YOU think there is anything that Donald Trump, or any elected official, is going to do to address the questions above?

I love our country. I am hopeful for the future. I wish Donald Trump and all of our political leaders the very best as they lead our country toward the horizon. However, WE have got to stop waiting for someone else. WE have got to stop blaming someone else. Are there things that politicians do to make it more or less difficult to get things done in our lives? YES! So what? That’s why we have elections. After we’ve cast our vote, our job is to get on with the process of living as best we can.

The truth is: Donald Trump will not fix “this.” Barack Obama did not fix “this.” George Bush did not fix “this.” Bill Clinton did not fix “this.” And on and on and on. “This” is us. “This” is ours. Our best hope is our own effort, our own attitude, our own hope, and our own support of one another. Should we hold our elected officials accountable? Yes. Should we vote for people who align with our views? As much as we possibly can. Should we expect someone else to make our lives better? NO!

What should we do? Hope for the best. Pray for the best. Work for the best. The best that WE can possibly do and be. If all of us focus on being that best version of our selves and giving others the best version of our selves, we’ll be far less concerned with the ebb and flow of elected officials and far more concerned with that little part of the world that we inhabit on a daily basis.