One of my favorite writing prompts to give students is What makes a good friend? In a classroom of students from different countries and cultures, the concept of friendship is universal, and I find that their answers are very similar to how you or I would answer the question. I think of a healthy friendship as two people bringing their best selves to the relationship. And in doing so, they share the same values. Perhaps some of those values are on this list:

Respect

Belonging

Truth

Teamwork

Boldness

Responsibility

Substance

Discipline

Excellence

Joy

Some of these words aren’t quite what you’d use to describe a friendship, right? But all of them describe a healthy way of interacting with people – integrity of interaction, if you will. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we treated others this way in all areas of life? At work, even in politics? Well, this list is actually from a political campaign. It’s called “Rules of the Road”, a code of conduct for volunteers to sign on to and abide by. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Decency in politics?

When the candidate himself exemplifies the Rules of the Road on the campaign trail, it’s easy for his supporters to follow his lead. This is how Pete Buttigieg is running for President of the United States – with decency and integrity. Even if you don’t agree with his policies, you can respect this man. That’s a huge part of why I’m supporting him for president, and why you haven’t heard as much from Susie in the past few months.

I’ve been struggling with how to write about my new adventure working on the Pete campaign without making it political – Susie Young at Heart has always been a politics-free zone. But I’m making so many new friends and traveling around to meet online friends in person and I want to tell you about it. And so I will. I will continue to write about friendship, not politics, but friendship.