I just finished the book by Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts entitled A Reason to Believe. I wasn’t totally sure he penned it himself or had a ghost writer do most of it after reading the acknowledgements, but after hearing him speak I feel otherwise. Governor Patrick has had the most remarkable life. He started out growing up on the South Side of Chicago and ended up a Harvard graduate, lawyer, and currently elected official. Considering his roots, he is one of a very small population of those who have transcended the effects of the ghetto to really make something of himself. He comes across, both in the book and in person, as a compassionate individual who really has the best interest of his Commonwealth at heart. I was genuinely touched as I read many passages in his biography that expressed extreme difficulties dealing with racism and discrimination simply because of the color of his skin along with descriptions of the kindness and personal interest of several of his teachers. He definitely would not be where he is today without those people in his life.
People like him impress me. Certainly he had good breaks along the way but his character as a person enhanced those opportunities. He was a good student, a right and honest man, and grew up with a religious foundation. Those experiences helped mold him and allow him to accept the path he has taken with all the pitfalls that come along. Governor Patrick has made the best of sometimes a bad situation and seems to have done it in a gracious way turning them around to a positive experience. It is those types of people that are great to be around. People who have a positive outlook despite adversities in their lives and people who rarely complain, and if they do have issues try to do something about them. It is those kinds of people who I feel comfortable in leadership positions.
I feel very privileged to have heard him speak in person and wish I had the opportunity to interact with him more. His speech was interesting and motivating with humorous anecdotes that really held my attention. He has a commanding presence at the podium while at the same time exhibiting a humble nature. Considering his current political standing I expect this man to go places and we may even see him running for a higher office.