One of the most important lessons I learned as a teacher was that "rules without relationship lead to rebellion." I've found that this applies to both students and adults. Too often in professional settings and in our personal lives, we forget that we are all flawed humans with a hierarchy of needs, regardless if we're in a position of leadership, authority or not. Rules, expectations, policies, unwritten and official, dictate the nature interpersonal relationships.
Elections are no different. My voting choices this term were based on my chosen candidates' relationship within my community and their vision for my community once elected. Candidates, too, are human with that same hierarchy of needs.
The goal of any relationship, professional or personal, should always be to make someone else's life better. If not, it's a waste of time. That's not to say that every relationship will be beneficial. Relationships fail. Individuals fail. Candidates fail. Elected officials fail. Important lessons with my students have failed. It is how the failure is shifted into success that matters.
The more we invest in a sense of relationship, in a sense of community, the closer we get to healing from any failures and making our communities and ourselves safe and whole.