Family Relationships

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gabby Giffords as an Inspirational Role Model

The courage and dignity shown by Gabrielle Giffords over the past year as she struggled to cope with the results of her horrific shooting were repeated this week as she made the announcement that she will step down today from her position as the United States Representative from her district in Arizona. It was inspiring to watch her smiling face and listen to her halting but strong voice declare her thanks for the support of her constituents and her pledge to return to the people of Arizona.

Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Giffords Congressional Office/Handout/Reuters

When Gabby Giffords was first shot, we blogged here about how the country would react to this crime by a mentally ill gunman. We had some suggestions for getting support in such times of crisis and for managing the stress that comes from an uncontrollable event like her shooting. You can look back over those posts and try on some of the tips we outlined there.

In addition to killing six citizens at the town hall, wounding another 12, and forever changing Gabby's life, the shooting also generated partisan finger pointing, ironic since Giffords had been rated as one of the most bipartisan, centrist members of Congress.

Gabby has been an exemplar of self-respect in her determination to progress in her healing. It is humbling to see her commitment and perseverance as she continues on her road to recovery and rehabilitation.

As you talk with you family about the role model she embodies, you can focus on some of her beliefs, attitudes and actions. Gabby has been:

Determined to move forward
Hard working in her rehabilitation
Optimistic in her outlook
Realistic in her goal setting
Steadfast in her beliefs about reconciliation
Appreciative of the support she's received
Grateful for her friends and family
Loving to her husband
Loyal to her constituents
True to herself
Committed to living a full life

These are all qualities we hope to emulate ourselves and instill in our children. We wish Gabby the very best of luck on her difficult but inspiring journey and support her words today, I will return, and we will work together for Arizona and this great country.

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