“Are you a leader? Are you a follower? Are those the only two options?” That old quote has come to mind a bit recently.
In the Rhizomatic discussion, we are currently talking about “what is the role of the facilitator/teacher/professor where we are using learning subjectives”. Are you a teacher? Are you a student? Are those the only two options? My initial approach was to talk about the importance of someone creating a structure, a safe place to learn.
Another context is a cartoon I shared on Facebook. A speaker addresses a crowd of people asking “Who wants change?” and everyone raises their hands. The same speaker addresses the same crowd asking, “Who wants to change?” and no one raises their hands. It seems like we see this all the time of Facebook. People trying to change everyone else’s opinions, but not being willing to change their own opinions.
Perhaps we see this best in current online political discourse. It is also showing up in the political process. Who are you supporting for President (for my U.S. friends)? Is this a person that represents your views, who you think will be most effective in getting polices that arein line with your views, elected? Can we get a transformational politician that will say something like,
The biggest lie people like me tell people like you at election time is, if you vote for me, I’ll solve all your problems. The truth is, the power to change this country is in your hands, not mine.
As much as I like this idea and the politician I’m quoting, it makes me think of the scene in Life of Brian where Brian tells the crowds, “You are all individuals, and they change back in near perfect unison, ‘We are all individuals’.
The power to change this country doesn’t come from voting for the candidate that promises change. It doesn’t come from voting for the candidate that tells us we have the power to bring about change. No, the real power of change comes from being the change we want to see in the world.
So, are you a leader? A follower? A teacher? A student? Do you have power, if so, what is it?
It has been a very long day, starting off with people wishing “May the Fourth” be with you, or singing, “Tin soldiers and Nixon coming.” I thought about Kent State. I was there ten years later. I thought about Baltimore, and Texas and how divisive our politics has become. Some friends have been saying it’s going to be a long hot summer.
But I had work to do. I took the day off from my paying job to volunteer to help get the vote out in the Woodbridge municipal election. There was a lot of data entry and number crunching, but not much time for reflection.
Now, I’m finally home, and I can reflect, but I’m too tired to go into detail. The incumbent Democratic First Selectman, Ellen Scalettar narrowly won re-election. The Republican under ticket did well, and it looks like, after a very divisive campaign, we will have mixed government in Woodbridge, perhaps doing as well as our mixed government in Washington has done.
It is Election Eve in Woodbridge and Bethany, and a few other towns around Connecticut as well. There are a handful of towns that have their municipal elections in May.
For the past week, I’ve been doing what I can to help with the Democratic ticket. Most of my focus has been on data. The signs are all up and we are ready for the election.
As I drove home from election headquarters, I felt a certain excitement. Elections are important, especially local elections, and too many people don’t appreciate that.
My writing has fallen behind schedule over the past week, but I’ve managed to organize some of my thoughts, so I hope to get back in the swing of things soon.
However, April was a very busy month and May is looking the same, so we’ll see.
A comment and a post I put up on Facebook today. The comment was in response to a friend who posted about “a segment of the population that acts as if anyone who is accessing their government benefits, they paid into their entire lives, is ripping off the government.”
I often think that people who protest too much about one thing or another are actually reflecting their own fears or weaknesses. They worry about others ripping off the government, because deep down inside, they know that they are getting more out of society than they put in.
I believe that I get much more that what I am justified receiving, not only in terms of services from the government (good libraries, schools, roads, police and fire, etc) than I actually pay for in taxes. Yet I believe that this also reflects the greater condition of mankind, receiving more from God's abundant grace than we deserve.
The other was a snarky comment about a post that one of the campaigns in this year’s Woodbridge Municipal election made about people in local politics having spouses that are involved in local politics. I noted that my campaign manager from my 2012 may have been a distant cousin of mine.
All of these are things I’d like to expound open, if I wasn’t so tired. The next three days will be pretty busy, but then I hope to get a little down time.
Today, in a Facebook discussion about the upcoming Woodbridge municipal elections, one person wrote, “All politicians are liars” and another responded, “They are all a bunch of legalized crooks”. Much of the venom was directed at the challenger, Cathy Wick. It was pointed out that on her website she says she believes zoning commission members should be elected, but that when asked what she would do about issues in the flats, she talked about wanting to appoint someone from the flats to be on zoning.
You can’t have it both ways, the writer complained. I’m not sure these comments are really fair. As much as someone believes zoning commission members should be elected, until that’s the case, they are appointed. One could easily say, I believe members of the zoning commission should be elected to make sure all sections of town are properly represented. Until that happens, I will do everything in my power to make sure that the members are appointed in a manner that I believe best achieves this, including appointing someone from the flats.
Actually, I have to give Cathy a lot of credit for running, twice. Running is hard. I know. I’ve run twice for State Rep and was also elected alternate to the zoning board of appeals. I do not believe that either Ellen or Cathy are crooks or liars. They both have their visions of what’s going on in Woodbridge, and what should be done.
Cathy may not have spoken clearly. She may have a different view of what’s going on in Woodbridge than I do, but I won’t call her a liar. I’ll just acknowledge that Ellen’s description of what is going on in town and what should go on in the future better matches my view.