Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Working Together IS the Solution....Not a Copout

Working Together is the Solution...Not a Copout

Over the past few days I have had a variety of letters from folks who have given me a number of suggestions on how I write and how I present myself and one even went as far to suggest I leave off the “God Bless” or “Your faithful Servant” closures that I give to my letters. Now, there was a sound reason behind it, and I respect her opinion, the same as I respect every one’s I meet, for one reason alone, that’s how I grow. I learn, I listen, and hear what a person is trying to say. Now, does that mean I have to agree with them? Of course not, but I always take the time to listen. Now her reasons for wanting me to leave off the above mentioned closures, was because she didn’t want me to sound like a typical phony politician. And I understand that completely, because I have stood before those types on many an occasion. I have learned to trust my instincts on a lot of things. You can sense certain things when you stand before a person and talk to them. You can tell who the ones are that are simply humoring you by giving you a few seconds of their precious time to try and make you feel like they are listening and care. But there are also those who do generally care. Those who will make the time to listen and help guide you when they see your going astray. Those are the people you learn to appreciate. Those are the people you learn to admire, because they care enough to show you a better way. That knowledge and wisdom doesn’t come from too many people in my age bracket, because they are doing the same thing I am doing, learning as I go, and hopefully taking something ahead with them that inspires them to grow spiritually and mentally.

Another letter I received was in a different tone regarding my working relationship with the city. They wrote “I do not trust a soul on our Council or in the city's management. I know you are close with some of them but their track record and their actions have shown me otherwise. I even have my suspicions about you considering your associations with them. I can only hope you consort with them to advance decent causes.” If by working with my councilors, my mayor, and organizations across Columbus to help make this city a better and safer place to live is considered consorting, then yes, I do. I believe that cause to be a decent one. I believe the way to help your city grow is by being self-expressive and making your views known in a positive manner. Sometimes you might have to hit the podium with closed fist and raise your voice a bit by either typing in caps or by speaking a little louder, making sure your voice is heard and carried. But what do I “consort” for? I suppose because I want a good working relationship with my city government. When I needed to ask for permission to use the Riverwalk for our AIDS Walk/Run Event scheduled for next year, I was welcomed with open arms and cooperation. That’s the way business gets done. Working together, because trying to separate or cause dissent only creates more problems and headaches. Never once have I asked for anything except to be a part of the process. I have asked to be put on certain commissions and boards, so that I can be a part of the process. I adore this city and its people. We are sitting on a mountain of potential and brilliance. We just have to work together to top that mountain so that we can tap into its resources and truly transform this community into the ideal city of tomorrow.

Then I received one other letter that was in reference to an article I wrote titled “We Must Change Course in Life”. Well the writer called my article “plain old BS.” The writer then went on to say; “To suggest that we can solve problems by working together is nothing but BS and a cop out. I am sorry that you can't come up with better solutions, and we do need solutions. Everybody should take sides, decide where and who is telling us the truth, and who can lead, then get behind that person or that cause and it will get better.” Well sir, for one I tried that course with George W. Bush, and things only got worse. I defended that man because I believed in him. Bush failed me like so many others. He failed on the basic policy of bringing this country together and uniting us in our cause. He failed to step in and freeze the adjustable mortgage rates that have left thousands without homes. He failed to listen to his own generals asking for more men and equipment which in turn ended up costing hundreds maybe thousands of American lives not to mention Iraqi’s. How can someone even suggest coming up with better solutions when the leaders we elect just simply will not listen? I have so many folks within the local Republican Party here that quite frankly cant stand me, because I go against their philosophy and ways of doing things. Well, I am my own person. I speak from my heart, because I don't have a banking account to speak from. That seems to be the only thing these elected officials listen to these days. You see the article talked about working together and working across that invisible line that has separated and caused dissent not to mention corruption and has continued to hold up the progress of this country for as long as we all can remember. We have to put away our D's and R's and start transforming and uniting ourselves into one party, The American Party. Money and special interest groups have destroyed the fabric of our country and what it was built upon. I chose the Republican Party not because I’m rich or I want to be rich. I chose to be Republican because of this party’s history. It was Lincoln who chose bi partisanship by making his vice president candidate a democrat. It was Lincoln that fought for the end of slavery. Reagan, well just for being Reagan. Reagan was the reason I fell in love with our country and our political system. Theodore Roosevelt who ushered in a new era of politics and kicked the special interest groups of the time in the behind. We've had great leaders, but here lately, nothing to write home about. I want a better leader. As I said in the letter I didn’t see a cure coming from either candidate this season. The writer says get behind someone, well I have and I support John McCain. True, I don’t like McCain that much, but I owe him this vote simply because of his sacrifice to the American people as a five-year prisoner of war. The torture he endured in the POW camp as well as the torture he endures on the hill fighting to make his country a better place for you and I. He has dedicated his life to this country literally and if anyone deserves my vote, it’s John McCain. I do feel though Obama will be President most likely, but I wish he had waited some more time to season himself and get his own message of hope and change that come from his own vision and heart. Not just tid bits from other candidates policies here and there. His entire platform I feel is based on the works and ideas of others. Now I am sure some of his own ideas come through, but I want to see more from him as a leader in the Senate because I absolutely don’t see a record of anything to go by. Just his word, something I cannot just accept from everyone I see. Because I have taken people for their word before and as a result, I like so many others have gotten burned. But, I feel in my heart, ready or not, we all are about to see more from him, as the leader of this country. I just pray he knows what he's getting into.

So, lets see, in every paragraph I have written about it discusses the importance of working together to get things achieved. We have a long way to go, America. But one thing the writer did say, was “things will get better”, but only if we are willing to grow. If our history has taught us anything, a nation that hinders itself by working against one another at home or abroad, will eventually fall. To say that working together is a copout, well I say this, I am sure there were those who said that Iron Curtain would never fall. There is always a better way to life. True there are shimmers of communism that tries and show its face around Russia, the same, as there are shimmers of prejudice within our own countries society. We will get past it, and overcome it, because we as a nation like every other on the face of this earth must learn to grow. Only by working together within our borders and abroad will we truly ever achieve real growth.

We can try it one of two ways. Some say to redistribute the wealth, or pretty much throw money at the problem, something this country has done for years and still hasn’t worked today. I am wrong about that, it has for about 18 % of Americans. For the other 82% of Americans, we struggle every day trying to make ends meet or save up enough for the next tank of gas. Hell, we even throw money at nations who don’t even like us. Wealth is the drive of this nation and both parties alike. Wealth is what makes this planet go round. Our nation has had its share of issues from slavery, to segregation, and even human rights. We as a nation are strong because we can listen and grow and instead of money what we should be offering to redistribute is our wealth of knowledge and wisdom to help others succeed where we have failed. Right now French President Sarkozy is talking about reforming the financial system altogether. We must make these steps together to ensure that everyone has the health care they deserve and an education to go along with it. That’s called investment. You invest in your people by keeping them healthy and educated so they can produce and achieve. Faith is something a lot of people are lacking and for good cause. Because they feel left behind, outperformed, never being given the chance to tap into their gifts and talents. So many say, everyone gets an equal chance, and that’s a flat out lie. People stand in your way at every turn, and only the strong survive and push past the blockades so many people use to obstruct your way. You would be surprised by who the strong ones truly are. Most would think it must be the elite or those attached to special interests, but it’s not. Because it’s the people that have nothing to loose that show true strength and character and can hurdle any obstruction placed in their path. That’s the America I am proud of. Being able to stand in the face of adversity and overcome it. We can overcome adversity by standing together and moving forward. We as a nation have some hurdles to overcome, but by working together, united in one effort, one cause, we can and shall overcome any hardship big or small. Working together, regardless of what some may say, is the solution. Instead of getting behind someone and following, why not try standing side-by-side, united, and then and only then will things truly get better.