Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hemingway Was Right

Unless you're intending to spend the day in bed and if you're still abed at this hour you're well on your way, no matter how yesterday's election results turned out, both for you and I and our preferences and desires, as well as for those of our neighbors who offered to stand (and/or stand again) in the fire for what we like to think of as 'the greater good,' and serve the community, the sun will rise and this day will run its course.

Just as it did the last time we went to the polls and the time before and the time before that, lather, rinse, repeat, despite what we hoped or feared, we've proven the only constant is change (and pony rides, even if they never catch on).

It certainly isn't voter turnout but I'm done wringing my hands over stay-at-home voters. Passing the Wauregan the other day, I remembered a quote from a purported, long-ago guest, Abraham Lincoln, Perhaps we should all invest in oven mitts just in case it really is eaten as hot as it's served.

Regardless of how we voted yesterday, either by casting a ballot or by NOT voting and allowing other people to make decisions for us, we will all now live with the consequences. Those elected yesterday regardless of your or my ballot are now our alder(wo)men-elect and Board of Education.

Those chosen offered to help lead, and we need to extend to them the courtesy of listening and then speaking, be it in support or in opposition, but most especially in that order. Maybe that's why we have two ears and one mouth so the proportions work out right.

But even as some prepare for new responsibilities or to bear, again, the burdens of elected office, we owe a kind thought and a debt of gratitude to everyone who was a candidate. Whether you were a Victor or a Yugo, thank you for offering to help. If you triumphed the glow of victory you felt may resemble a different kind of fire a little lower on your body in the not too distant future as we, who turned to you now turn on you.

There will be days when you wondered why you ever thought running for office was a good idea, but whether we know it or nor (or are willing to admit it) we need you to be who you are and where you are right now.

There's far more right in our city than we may be willing to admit even to one another and somehow you'll have to assemble and assimilate those successes to build a critical mass and move us ahead, farther and faster than we have already gone, and perhaps more than we are prepared or willing to do.

You and we are now joined and when you succeed, so, too, do we. Together we can do anything but we must accept that we can't do everything. When you asked us about public education, infrastructure, public safety, economic development and improvements in our quality of life, we told you so you know our expectations.

Somehow, you must balance what we want with what we need and what we can afford. As happy as some are today, others will be a lot less so much sooner than they'd imagined. It's the price we pay to live where we'd like with those whom we love. The wheel never stops-it paused yesterday but is in motion again.

No matter the conditions even though the dogs howl in protest, the journey continues and the caravan moves on. With or without you.
-bill kenny

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