Michelle Nunn on Principles & Values



Daughter of Sen. Sam Nunn: legacy of bipartisanship

Nunn was met with questions and anecdotes about her father, as she often is on the campaign trail. Former four-term Sen. Sam Nunn was the last Georgia Democrat to win re-election to a Senate seat, in 1990, and his legacy of bipartisanship is still revered by voters of both parties.

"It gives me an entry point with people who remember my dad," Nunn said of her last name. "It gives me a hearing. And then as I talk to a lot of young people, they're interested in my non-profit career and work with volunteers. So I think I'm able to have an entry point with voters in both ways."

Never far removed from the tongues of Democrats and Republicans alike in attendance were comparisons between the younger and elder Nunns. "She has the stamina and the tenacity that he has," said a Senate aide to Nunn's father for 14 years. [The elder Nunn] "could speak up to his party when he needed to and cross the aisle to work with Republicans. I think Michelle can do that, too--she says she can."

Source: Rollcall e-zine on 2014 Georgia Senate race , Apr 17, 2014

Those whom we revere give of themselves

Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Jonas Salk, Clara Barton: These are the hallowed names of people who live in our historical imagination. Yet none of them held elected office. None of them ran corporations or made millions of dollars. Although our society admires celebrity and material reward, those whom we most revere give of themselves and make a difference for others. The problem is that these iconic figures have become so lionized that it is impossible to aspire to be like them. They seem to be of another world, one of superheroes and saints. Yet the transformations they achieved--in the world and in themselves-- ARE within our reach.

I have seen firsthand that ordinary people are capable of superhero-like accomplishments. My hope is that this book prompts you to believe that you can, in the words of Gandhi, "be the change you wish to see in the world."

Source: Be the Change, by Michelle Nunn, p. x , Nov 1, 2006

Leaders of all great faith traditions lived lives of service

Across all of the great faith traditions, we find absolute alignment and clarity around the example of service and the commandments to serve others. Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, and Muhammad all lived out the life of service. They manifest the divine, not through their temporal power or wealth, but through the powerful example of their sacrifice and service to others. Jesus healed the sick and ministered to the poor and the needy. Buddha sought to alleviate the suffering of the world through his own personal transformation and by sharing these principles with the world. Muhammad gave away his wealth in order to live in solidarity with the poor.
Source: Be the Change, by Michelle Nunn, p. 9 , Nov 1, 2006

Don't let petty frustrations get in the way of commitment

Changing the world is hard. If it were easy, it would have already been done. While our stories of change tell us of the bounty and unexpected gifts of service, they also tell us that we will run into obstacles and frustrations.

There are small and large impediments to making a difference. A clear theme emanating from our stories is not to let the petty frustrations of your experience get in the way of your action or commitment.

It also helps to keep the big picture in mind--whether that's the person you are trying to help or the policy change you are trying to effect. At the same time that you are mindful of the larger issue, don't get lost in the immensity of a problem. You can lose sight of your own power to make a difference if you become overwhelmed by the magnitude of a challenge.

Source: Be the Change, by Michelle Nunn, p. 95-96 , Nov 1, 2006

Built "Hands On Atlanta" over 17 years to 100,000 volunteers

I met a couple of people in Atlanta who were starting a new organization. The group of 12 individuals who eventually formed Hands On Atlanta contributed $50 each and their own sweat equity to create a new, dynamic, and flexible model for getting their peers--starting with young adults--involved in the community.

When I met these 12 founders, they had given a donation of $2,500 and a small space in a local business office, and they were ready to hire a staff person. I joined, with the glorified title of executive director, working 10 hours a week with a job commitment of a couple of months to get the organization going. What I discovered was a meaningful way of making a difference in my home state and the opportunity to grow an organization and a civic change movement.

17 years later, I have watched this fledgling effort grow into a dynamic organization and volunteer movement that has truly shaped the civic life of Atlanta. Today, Hands On Atlanta engages more than 100,000 volunteers each year.

Source: Be the Change, by Michelle Nunn, p.306-307 , Nov 1, 2006

Everyone has the power to make a difference in the world

Hands On Network is a growing family of organizations engaging more than half a million volunteers within and outside of the US.
    Core Beliefs:
  1. Everyone has the power to make a difference in the world.
  2. Effective volunteer action is a path to a broader civic engagement.
  3. Engaged citizens are the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy.
  4. Service brings people together and bridges differences.
  5. Now is the time for action, innovation, and impact.
Source: Be the Change, by Michelle Nunn, p.311 , Nov 1, 2006

Other candidates on Principles & Values: Michelle Nunn on other issues:
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Brian Kemp
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