My dear fellow citizens, as a doctor, I am accustomed to being candid. I look my patients in the eye and give bad news. Day in and day out, this is part of the job. 

And I try to always do so, at least when appropriate, with a smile, the better to signal that although the day is lost to us, other and brighter days will surely come.

No matter the news. No matter the circumstances. The truth is, life goes on. And other and brighter days will surely come.

My friends, we have so much of which to be proud. We ran with our hearts. We ran with a vision. We told the establishment of its shortcomings, and in so doing we craft a political conversation in McAllen that made room for the bold, the ideal, the progressive, the ignited, and the visionary.

And contrary to feeling sad, contrary to feeling defeated — I feel hopeful. Hopeful over what we’ve built. Hopeful by our unified display of hope, love, and will.

Hopeful that a new day, as always, will come. And when it does, as it always does, it will bring with it fresh, new hopes.

I love my city. I love my family. I love ALL my friends and neighbors and fellow citizens. It is the love of a doctor, sworn to serve, but it is also the love of a man who seeks to give.

I sought to give in this race. I sought to heal this great city.

And tomorrow, with the dawn of the golden sun, I shall seek to only do the same. To give! To heal! Tomorrow! And the next day. And the day after that.

I encourage all of you to do the same. Get involved. Engage with your leaders and your neighborhood communities. Give all you can, because as those who do so know, it’s the very best way in life to receive.

Hold our leaders accountable. Had I been elected, I would have expected and even requested the same. Speak truth to power. Attend City Council meetings. And never deny yourself, or those who lead and therefore serve you, the basic dignity of letting your essential truths be known.

Speak the truths of your heart. Speak the truths of your spirit. Ask for help, and if you feel urgently about it, feel free to demand help.

That’s how humanity evolves.

I wish I could have helped you as your mayor. But the good news is, I’ll still be around. Clocking in. Putting on my white jacket and my stethoscope. Seeing patients, and working daily to reduce their pain. As I do so, I’ll continue my proud 20-year tradition of community participation and philanthropy, the better to ease pain in other areas, as well.

I thank you for your support. I shall never, ever forget. Great thanks goes to my wife and family, too, who have believed me, always, even when the night grew darkest, or when the flame of my hope grew lowest.

Right now, though, I say with sincerity that that flames burns high. I hope that its light can shine on you. And I hope that in my lifetime here on Earth, the light I shine can clear a pathway forward, while keeping everyone who walks upon it warm.

Thank you all so much!

See you soon!

God Bless You All.

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Dr. Shahid Rashid, MD, soon after he lost his bid to become mayor of McAllen. In the May 1, 2021, McAllen mayor election Rashid came in fifth. The above guest column appears in The Rio Grande Guardian with the permission of the author. Rashid can be reached by email via: [email protected].

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