Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Out with the Old! (but then what?)

There're been a lot of words written in review about this year, rapidly ending, and between now and New Year’s Eve, there’ll be a few more, I suspect. These mutterings and murmurings should not be perceived as any of that. 

I confess to finding something disquieting about the neuralgia of nostalgia--seen through the prism of the past, events can often take on a rosy hue, far more in retrospect than you might recall they had at the time they were current.

If that proves to be the case, in a matter of weeks this, too, will be part of a 'Good Old Days' memory and perhaps that's good so. Meanwhile, in twenty-four hours we turn the page on the calendar and start anew. It’s not table rasa, nor need it be another link in a chain of tradition. We can and should create a new path with the understanding that when you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there.

There are signposts enough along the way to the city and community we aspire to be if we choose to see them. November’s elections were a shift in how we govern ourselves at the most local of levels.

It was a start of a journey, but by no means not the journey in its entirety because I don’t think any of us actually know what our destination is. Instead of worrying or quarreling over who is holding the map or steering and who called shotgun, let’s keep our eyes on the shared road and all our hands on the wheel.

Let's promise one another to work with all elected officials, regardless of their political affiliation, or ours, as they work to do their best for all of us. It's not easy holding elected officer anywhere in the United States these days and I've often thought it's a little more challenging than it needs to be around here. I fear we tend towards a pessimistic mindset because that way we can only be surprised and never disappointed.

If Norwich were to have a mascot, it might be Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh's homefry. He embodies caution and caution is a good thing but always waiting for the other shoe to drop makes it much harder to dance in celebration. Maybe if the chance presents itself in 2016, we could trade him in for dancing shoes? Couldn’t hurt.

Not sure how you measure progress and our individual mileage probably varies, but as we’re assembling our 2016 resolutions let’s resolve to be a tick slower to anger and a heartbeat faster to give one another a benefit of the doubt. 

Maybe, just maybe, we'll realize the only way we can get to where we want to go is by going there together. That it's often not eaten as hot as it's served is both a truth and a truism and is valid for where you live as well as for where I live. Grab a napkin and tuck in.
-bill kenny



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