..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

... just to remind myself why I'm doing this ...

Depending on our personalities, the world can be a crowded place or a very lonely one. For those who seek comfort in numbers, there is no shortage of hangers on, but for those who avoid that circus, keeping thier own counsel can leave them feeling quite alone and disengaged from the mad place we call home. Life is a trade off and most of us choose how we live it.

For me, I'd rather work things out as best I can, using my own thoughts and feelings to sort things out. Following the crowd has never been a temptation to me, but that has its price, one that I'm totally comfortable with every day I get to stand up and be the person I aspire to be. When I sometimes lose track of who that is, I come here to remember, to reconnect and to resume my quest.

These posts are a reflection of some of what matters to me and it's a privilege to have the opportunity to collect these thoughts as they form in my head, as they prepare the way for my life, as it evolves from one day to the next. They re-inspire me when things seem to be floating about, with no particular aim or purpose, and it does happen from time to time.

So, today I had these thoughts that I think are worth writing down for the future me to look back on when I need to ...

Friday, April 25, 2014

3 years on ... and where are we ...

... or more to the point, where are we headed? I don't remember a municipal election when the disillusioned didn't call for "change". What I do remember is that the call for change never spelled out just what that change should be, or why it should be the objective. Sadly, I don't expect anything different this time.

However, I have concluded that the "change" being called for is really a change in the personal lives, the prevailing situations that take people through their daily lives, that never seem to make things "better" or somehow get them closer to realize whatever it is they want to have or how they want to live their lives. I also have come to the conclusion that they don't trust any thinking that doesn't follow the established path to which they are accustomed, even if that path only gets them to the same ends they always get to when that's all they choose to support.

In 1996 I ran for a seat on municipal council and came remarkably close to being elected. My campaign was more focused on presenting myself and my platform on a comprehensive website, something that had not been all that common or well-accepted at the time. It gave me the opportunity to elaborate on every detail and explain my reasoning for everything. My opponent made fun of this unorthodox campaign strategy, choosing to rely on the "tried and usual" methods. As I said, I came very close to upsetting that applecart, much to his and his supporters' surprise. In 2010 I again ran for office against the same opponent who, by then, had made part of his platform, the commitment to use social media as an important part of informing and including the electorate in the governing process. I guess he needed to neutralize any benefit I might have earned from the actual application of that forward thinking the previous time or this time.

However, I had already moved on to another idea that I thought had exceptional value in presenting the embodiment of "change". I chose to displace the ever-prolific lawn sign with individual large banner-style signs placed strategically throughout the high traffic areas of town; 8 of them, that's it. Of course I was mocked and criticized for that departure from tradition, and I had expected as much. Folks just don't trust innovation until it's been around for a while, that is to say, when it's no longer innovation. The vocal reactions were not surprising, but I explained my thinking on my election website, holding my example of change and innovation out as proof that I was not going to go about things in the same way that had always produced the same predictable results during the terms that followed. The whole idea of "change" was my campaign message, that you get the same results when you do the same things. If we were ever going to bring about true change, we'd have to change what we do and how we do it, and do it going in right at the beginning. I didn't expect miracles but I did hope to make an impact with that edgy thinking.

 The political junkies and pundits seemed frustrated that I wouldn't "play the game", so to speak. They wanted to go through the same exercises, the same motions as they always had because that's all they knew, and just didn't know how to handle my departure from the same ol' stump race. Predictably they decreed me collapse and declared my opponent as the winner early on in the race. Ultimately, I didn't make enough connections through what I had attempted with my example of what "Change" really entails and my votes were only about 83% of what was needed to win, but that indicated that my message had resonated in more places and ways that my detractors might have predicted at the outset. Of course, that's lost on them because all they really see is who won the seat.

Now three-plus years into the term and 6 months to the next election, if I had the occasion to meet with those critics I'd ask them the question with which I started this piece, where are we now, and where do we seem to be headed? I'd love to know what their answer would be. I'd also ask them what they were looking for this time as they go through their raggedy old playbook and tell us all how it should be done. I think they'll get the same results as they always do, and will end up with the same leather to chew on for the next 4 years. They fear and reject the very change they claim to want by refusing to support it, yet bemoan the fact that the voters do the same as they do. Don'tya just love the predictability of it all?

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