Last week social media was set ablaze from the most unlikely source. During a fairly routine House Financial Services Committee hearing, Maxine Waters, Congresswoman from California confronted Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin about his failure to respond to her communication. Earlier in the month Waters forwarded a letter from her office requesting an explanation about President Donald Trump’s ties financially to Russian banks. Her response to his song and dance about why Mnuchin had yet to send a response, Waters used a procedural interruption to keep him on track and it was epic.
After posing the question to Mnuchin, Representative Waters immediately identified he was stalling so the time for a response would elapse. This is when Waters began to repeatedly speak into her microphone, “I am reclaiming my time.” Waters was heard throughout the hearing saying:
We don’t have time to talk about how great I am. Please address my question, sir.
“Auntie Maxine” as she has been affectionately nicknamed was fed up with Mnuchin’s antics and evoked a classic from the Floor Procedural rulebook for the U. S. House of Representatives. Under article 13 of the revised rules adopted in January of 1999, a response to a committee question is limited to five minutes. I trust that Secretary Mnuchin knew this quite well. So did Mrs. Waters.
Since her 1977 appointment to the 48th District in California, Mrs. Waters has taken the mantle of speaking truth to power on all levels of government. Working her way through district after district, Waters’ reputation for being a straight shooter is known around the country. Whether on the senate floor in Washington or a procedural meeting back in California, Maxine Waters holds no punches. Of late, she has been a stark critic of the newly elected president, Donald Trump.
What Mrs. Waters did seems to transcend politics and spill over into a clarion call for millions who have grown weary of individuals manipulating the rules to waste their time. “Reclaiming my time” is an echo of so many frustrated with the runaround and are ready for answers. Since the “Waters” beat down on Mnuchin, she has been a guest on numerous radio and television shows. Mrs. Waters finished her week with a guest appearance on the daytime power hour “The View.”
“Reclaiming my time” means so much to so many. Here are a few principles to quickly implement and guarantee your time is no longer squandered and your voice is heard:
Reclaiming my time means, I am aware of how valuable it really is: I learned some time ago that people typically mirror how we treat ourselves. When you meet someone you are actually giving them a blueprint on how you should be treated. Through familiarity, contempt is developed and before you know it, your time is no longer valued. I mentioned to someone recently while at a conference that I have become ruthless with my time. I guard it with my life because that is the only commodity I will never be able to recoup. When people see you value your time, they will, in turn, follow suit.
Reclaiming my time means, I understand that my voice must be heard: Mrs. Waters commands respect wherever she goes. Why? Because that is her minimum expectation. When we take the time to hear our own voice and internally validate that voice, we walk into rooms much different. Most whisper (metaphorically) because they have yet to tap into the power of who they are. Your voice moves mountains and shapes ideals. Do not whisper with some false sense of timidity. Instead, learn to stand in your true power and speak your truth, even if your voice is shaking inside. You are worthy and the world is waiting to hear from you.
Reclaiming my time means, I will no longer take a back seat to anyone: Do you know why we flock to celebrities? I believe it is simply because they had the guts to do what we all secretly wish we could; follow a dream. They did it and we did not. When you reclaim your time, you are letting the world know you will not wait for external validations or permissions. People have taken you for granted for the last time. After reading this, my hope is you walk into work differently tomorrow or that you no longer allow a wayward lover to manipulate you. Whatever reclaiming looks like to you, the time to do it is now!
Mrs. Waters may be this week’s reigning “queen of memes” but this is much bigger than that. This represents a declaration from those around the world who have felt underestimated and unheard. Take Waters’ call and use it to empower yourself to step out of your comfort zone and reclaim everything the powers that be think you’re too afraid to demand. As it states in the writings of the Apostle Paul, “Redeeming the time because the days are evil.”
Opinion by Early Jackson
(Edited by Cherese Jackson)
Floor Procedural rulebook for the U. S. House of Representatives: Article 13
U. S. House of Representatives: About Maxine
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Inline Image Courtesy of Sean MacEntee ’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
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